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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home