After a summer of sporting glory, might Britain punch above its weight in the intellectual Olympics, aka the Nobel Prizes? Team GB has landed 17 Nobels since 2000, among them Sir John Gurdon, who won the prize for physiology or medicine this week.
More than 800 writers, commentators and thinkers from 44 countries make up this year's festival, among them Nobel laureates, Booker and Pulitzer prize winners and poets laureate.
Four first-time novelists are in the running for the prestigious £50,000 literary award
Past winner Hilary Mantel and three former shortlisted authors found themselves among the 12 writers on the Man Booker Prize longlist today.
When did the modern novel get so long and unwieldy? Sometimes the best things come in small packages, says Arifa Akbar
The liberties film-makers take with characters and plot when they adapt well-loved novels too often spoil the stories for fans of the originals, argues Arifa Akbar
Howard Jacobson richly deserved his Booker prize, but so many other novels divided cultured opinion
The only way to truly narrow the gender divide in literature is for female novelists to write some great books, says Shriver
The week in books
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.
The Week In Books
The Week In Culture
Tomorrow is officially the most dispiriting day of the year, but don't even think about fighting it, says James Kidd: it's far more rewarding to embrace the gloom in the company of a masterpiece of misery
As Patrice Chéreau's 'Persecution' premieres at the London Film Festival, Geoffrey Macnab looks over his shoulder and sees the stalker movie lurking in the shadows of movie history
Andrew Lloyd Webber confessed that he has already sent the soundtrack of his latest musical, ‘Love Never Dies’ (sequel to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’) to two key figures – both of whom were involved in ‘Phantom’, and neither of whom have a part to play in the sequel: Cameron Mackinstosh, who worked with Lloyd Webber on the original, and Sarah Brightman (right), Lloyd Webber’s former wife and the first leading lady, Christine. Lloyd Webber said: “The two people in the world I most wanted to hear the soundtrack were Sarah Brightman and Cameron Macintosh.” After hearing the songs, Webber said that Cameron “wrote me one of the sweetest letters I have ever had”, while Sarah’s response was similarly supportive, and “funny”, he added. When quizzed about why Mackintosh was not producing the sequel, which takes place a decade after we last encountered the murderous phantom, now living on Coney Island, Lloyd Webber said: “Cameron has been incredibly supportive… but he has got his own life.” He said there would be no other sequels after this one. “I can’t say that the story could possibly continue.” The show opens on 9 March 2010 at the Adelphi Theatre, London
We rhapsodise and obsess about it, yet the act of sex is as likely to be ridiculous as sublime. Hannah Betts considers the paradox of consummation