Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

Blair's coupling with Cherie is up for a Bad Sex Award

"That night she cradled me in her arms and soothed me; told me what I needed to be told; strengthened me ... On that night of 12 May 1994 I needed that love [she] gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct ... "

Album: Michael Berkeley, Ian McEwan, Music Theatre Wales, For You (Signum Classics)

Michael Berkeley and Ian McEwan's new opera deals frankly with themes of age and ego, obsession and suspicion, as they impact upon the household of a satyric composer, Charles Frieth.

Have you read any good films lately?

A version of Kazuo Ishiguro's Let Me Go will open the London Film Festival. Yet Salman Rushdie is ignored by directors, and Martin Amis struggles on screen. Geoffrey Macnab reports

Between the Sheets, By Lesley McDowell

Lesley McDowell selects nine women writers from the first half of the 20th century, reviews destructive behaviour in their sexual partnerships with male writers, and argues that humiliation and pain in such relationship was and is intrinsic to their achievement. I wondered at her choice of title. She is formidably well-read and must know of Ian McEwan's short-story collection In Between the Sheets. Perhaps, like him, she could not resist the droll literary pun.

Goodbye, Mr Chippy: As Craig Raine prepares for retirement the fiction critics are sharpening their knives

The opinionated and divisive poet-critic Craig Raine is retiring from his teaching post at Oxford University. But as the dusty halls breathe a sigh of relief, the fiction critics are sharpening their knives...

Huntington's Disease cases 'under-estimated'

The incurable brain illness Huntington's Disease (HD) is at least twice as common as previously thought, medical experts said today.

Ian McEwan sees funny side of Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize nomination

The writer Ian McEwan, right, whose brooding novels led him to acquire the nickname of "Ian Macabre" early in his career, is not normally associated with the upper-class humorist P G Wodehouse – not least because he once stated: "I hate comic novels". But yesterday his latest work of fiction, Solar, was deemed to capture "the comic spirit of Wodehouse" as it was shortlisted for a comic fiction award.

Pandora: John Prescott fails to lord it on the campaign trail

Last week Pandora speculated as to the proximity of a Prescott peerage. Having been both deputy Labour leader and deputy PM, the veteran bruiser would be more than qualified for a spot on Gordon Brown's disollution honours list, despite his previously-stated opposition to the principle.

Boyd Tonkin: A velvet revolution on the shelves

The Week In Books

Tom Sutcliffe: The pious politics of the quilt

The Week In Culture

Hard science and soft humanity: At home with Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan's new novel, Solar, satirises the low compulsions of an absurd scientist but celebrates the high aims of scientific research. Boyd Tonkin meets the 'imaginative rationalist' of British literature

Love changes everything: The men picking up Barbara Cartland's baton

Barbara Cartland's stranglehold over the nation's heartstrings is being challenged by a curious breed: this Valentine's Day, the romantic novel in your hands might have been written – try not to blush, now – by a man
Career Services

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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried