Arts and Entertainment

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".

Peter Vansittart: Inspirational teacher

I first came across Peter Vansittart when he strode into my classroom in the autumn of 1947 to take an English lesson, writes Nicholas Tucker

Book of a lifetime: My Uncle Silas, HE Bates

At art college in the late Sixties I fell in love with American writers, the great if predicable pantheon: Salinger, Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Kerouac, Damon Runyon. Reading them made me want to write. But giving yourself permission to try is one thing; finding a way in is another. They had the language, all that wonderful idiom to play around with. They had the space, the characters, the music and the stories. They had the great cities of New York and San Francisco, the majesty of Big Sur, the romance of the endless open road. I had rural Somerset. What was there to say?

The Paris Review Interviews, vol 2. Edited by Philip Gourevitch

Gold mined from literary treasures lights up the writer's trade and toil

Aubelin Jolicoeur: Mr Haiti

His exploits inspired Graham Greene. His friends included Truman Capote and Papa Doc Duvalier. And now a nation is in mourning

Norman Sherry: After 27 years, Greene's shadow reaches the end of his life

Norman Sherry has spent almost three decades on an all-consuming struggle: to write the definitive biography of the enigmatic Graham Greene. The attempt nearly killed him. Now, on the eve of the publication of the final volume, he talks exclusively to Andrew Gumbel about his attempts to achieve the impossible

Growing up in Fellini's shadow

I Vitelloni is a masterpiece of youthful ennui, but has the director's message been misunderstood, asks Geoffrey Macnab

Dry Bones by Richard Beard

Running out of time in a city of clocks

All that's left

The crumbling ruins of communism or the dishevelled good looks of a renegade city? Douglas Kennedy visits Havana, where disarray and dignity go hand-in hand ÿ and where dinner is served in the oddest places

Sleepover: A bed for the night in Vietnam

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?