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Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility

George Orwell: A Life in Letters (ed Peter Davison)

A red-letter day for all Orwell fans

Our beautiful 'edgelands': A dark light on the edge of town

The half-rural, half-urban nothingness that surrounds our cities is often seen as a blight but not to poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts...

A Life In Letters, By George Orwell

Deadpan and droll, cantankerous and kind, the voice of Orwell's letters never sounds very far from the tone of his books in this rich collection of correspondence - beautifully edited and annotated by Peter Davison.

Diaries Volume One 1939-1960, By Christopher Isherwood

In her introduction to this vast, immaculately produced book, its editor Katherine Bucknell notes that Christopher Isherwood's handwritten diaries, which he maintained at great daily length (excepting a "wild" spell in the late Forties), contained "hardly any mistakes of any kind. The diaries are an endless transcript of life – without blot, without error, without misstatement, without verbal crime." As with the essays of his contemporary George Orwell, you could read this book as a primer on style. Bucknell points out that "page upon page reflect the clarity of his mind, his absolute mastery of syntax, his easy ranging, precise diction, his effortless power of description."

Tom Lubbock: Collages that cut to the quick

The Independent's Tom Lubbock also made his name as an artist, and his work is now going on show. Turner Prize-winner Mark Wallinger pays tribute.

Hip-hop deciphered at the British Library

When hip-hop artists stand in a circle and rap it's called a cypher," says Mobo award-winning artist Akala, who will be part of two events at the British Library this evening; a one-off language-based panel discussion, Voices of Hip-Hop and Late at the Library. "It's a common hip-hop word which came from the Islamic influence on hip-hop culture, and it's just one of tons of examples of the impact of hip-hop on the English language and the way people use that language."

New union leader attacks 'culture of fear' at BA

The new leader of Britain's biggest trade union attacked the "culture of fear" at British Airways today as he launched a drive to discover the level of "bullying and harassment" against cabin crew.

Cassandra back on radio after rude interruption

As Cassandra, his column graced the pages of the Daily Mirror for 35 years, firing out opinions and jokes with a pugnacity that delighted as many as it infuriated.

India: A Million Mutinies Now, By VS Naipaul

VS Naipaul first visited India, home of his ancestors, in 1962. Twenty-six years later he returned, and this is a long, detailed, thoughtful account of the changes he found, first published in 1990 and now reprinted for the 35th time.

Bite the Hand That Feeds You, By Henry Fairlie

Henry Fairlie, who died at the age of 66 two decades ago, is remembered with awe by a few fellow journalists of his era. Born of a Scottish journalist father, he rapidly climbed the heights of British journalism before embarking for America in 1966, where he wrote mainly for the Washington Post and the political journal, New Republic. Linking his name with George Orwell, Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker maintains that his political essays "can induce something like ecstasy."

Amol Rajan: Let the axe fall on stale metaphors

This week, what passes for political debate in this country has, according to its protagonists, been a "soap opera" between "old", "new" and "next" Labour. Last week, everything hinged on whether or not the Coalition's Budget was "progressive". A few weeks earlier, acres of newsprint addressed our Prime Minister's use of the phrase "middle class". Nobody knows what any of these terms mean, least of all those who initially submitted them for public consideration. "Progressive" is related somehow to protecting the poor; "middle class" is so abused and polysemous as to be nothing more than a badge of honour among the unthinking rich. Our political language is not in a good state.

1065 and all that: Dave's Book of Dates

David Cameron has been criticised for a string of factual errors – from the date the US entered the Second World War to Iran's nuclear capability. David Randall imagines how the PM might tell the story of the past 2,000 years

Comrades gather to give 'Animal Farm' a musical makeover

A bleak warning about the dangers of Stalinism told through the perspective of a farmyard of mutinous pigs may not seem the most heartening setting or subject for a West End musical.

Robert Tressell: Return of the working-class heroes

As a stage version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists opens, Andy McSmith praises the great socialist novel

Retro graphics: Why can't today's designers get enough of the past?

Over the years, any number of artists, writers and film-makers have laid out their visions for the future of the world in which they were living. In the late 1940s, in an almost uncanny anticipation of what was to come, George Orwell penned his account of a land blighted by pervasive government surveillance, with the classic novel 1984. In 1981, the director John Carpenter gave us the sci-fi action movie Escape From New York, in which the city had been transformed into one big maximum security prison. And who could forget Prince's worldwide hit "1999", in which "the sky was all purple" and there were "people running everywhere".

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
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The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
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Glasgow girl made good

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Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

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Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

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The landscape of my imagination

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