Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".
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Sunday 06 October 2013
Boyd’s Bond is driven but torn
Sunday 17 March 2013
I'm surprised I haven't run out of ideas Right now I have seven ideas for novels on bits of paper. I'm prolific: I've been writing for 34 years and right now I'm writing my 29th novel.
Friday 08 March 2013
When I first read The Transit of Venus, I was rather underwhelmed. I was in my twenties then and recently back in Australia after a period when I had thought I would make my life in France. I came to Shirley Hazzard's third novel by way of The Bay of Noon and The Evening of the Holiday. These ravishing early novels, both set in Italy, fed my nostalgia for Europe. I identified intensely with their young female protagonists whose private dramas were lifted into grandeur by the antique backgrounds against which they played out.
Saturday 08 December 2012
Saturday 01 December 2012
The move of MI6 in the late Nineties from modest, relatively covert premises (though bus conductors were prone to yell, "Spies alight here") to one of the most glossily ostentatious buildings in London was not welcomed by many of the staff, who referred to their new home as Legoland.
Saturday 24 November 2012
Sunday 18 November 2012
'Longing', a play based on two short stories, opens next year, the writer tells Susie Mesure
Sunday 11 November 2012
A penthouse overlooking Havana's Malecón seaside wall is a new breed of 'casa particular', says Claire Boobbyer
Monday 22 October 2012
Six renowned authors from the past century have been shortlisted for a prize to recognise the best ever winner of Britain's oldest literary award.
Friday 05 October 2012
From swirls of colour to geometric metal patterns, Trish Lorenz unrolls the latest wallpaper trends
Saturday 30 June 2012
Friday 27 January 2012
Christopher Graham tells Leveson Inquiry that tackling case of private eye Whittamore is 'impractical'
Tuesday 16 August 2011
My best holiday memories aren't of sunsets or dolphin sightings but of wallowing in the shallow end of a swimming pool, giant inflatable ring wrapped around my middle, my face shaded by a fat paperback. I can't brag about the quantity of my beach reading like some: I'm slow, easily distracted, and usually only notch up two novels over a fortnight's break even while my hungrier holiday companions tear through one Penguin Classic after another.
Sunday 19 June 2011
This fabulously over-ripe adaptation of Graham Greene's razors'n'rosaries gangster novel starts as a cheeky film-noir homage, but it soon tips over into self-parody: no scene is complete without some rolling thunder, some religious icons, and music so bombastic that Dr Frankenstein would have it on his laboratory iPod.
Sunday 19 June 2011
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
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