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.

The week in radio: Never mind the lows, the highs are cosmic

As autumn arrives, with its swirling winds battering our dark and chilly mornings, it is once more open season for attacks on Radio 4. The old chestnuts are unearthed, steeped in vinegar and given a spin in ritual combat. Thursday's much-leaked RAJAR statistics discern a sharp fall in listening figures and the pundits are quick to condemn, blaming uncomfortable schedules, over-reliance on focus-groups and mistaken allocation of funds. Some wail that the network is debased by idiot quiz shows while others find it boring, inaccessible and stodgy. Dumbed down or lectured up, all agree that it is definitely not what it was.

Much binding in the Guildhall

The six novels shortlisted for the Booker Prize have been specially bound by an elite squad of bookbinders.

Bus driver shortlisted for Booker

First-time writer gives established novelists run for their money in big literary prize

Chris Smith attacks 'elitist' Booker

CHRIS SMITH wants a new populist literary award to be established because he believes the Booker Prize is "too elitist".

Reading Review: Short but not sweet

Martin Amis

Have you heard the one about the oriental fantasy?

Jack O'Sullivan on the identikit booker shortlist

Arts: Booker list continues an Indian love affair

The shortlist for the Booker Prize, fiction's premier award, was announced yesterday. Big-name novelists such as Ian McEwan and Jeanette Winterson have failed to make the last six, but, as David Lister reports, for debut novelist Arundhati Roy, it is a dream come true.

Book review / Spilt personalities

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan, Jonathan Cape, pounds 15.99

WAYS WITH WORDS AT DARTINGTON HALL: 11-20 JULY

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Books: Ways With Words literature festival

The Ways with Words literature festival at Dartington Hall in South Devon offers nine varied days of literary events in one of the country's most beautiful settings. Between 11 and 20 July, from 10am to 10pm each day, the medieval Great Hall and courtyard will be the venue for talks debates, readings and interviews. Among more than 200 writers taking part this year will be Ian McEwan, Jung Chang, Mary Wesley, Louis de Bernieres, Anthony Clare, Rose Tremain, Kate Adie, Marina Warner, Roy Strong and the Independent's Polly Toynbee and Suzanne Moore.

The Week on Radio: Dark visions of Utopia

Considering that it's meant to be an ideal state, Utopia has a terrible image. When you label something or somebody Utopian, you don't usually mean it as a compliment - as a rule, what you're getting at is that it's either hopelessly optimistic or unavoidably authoritarian. So the challenge Michael O'Donnell sets his guests on Utopia and Other Destinations (Radio 4, Saturday), in which they are asked to expound their personal vision of the ideal state, is to find a place that sits somewhere between those two poles - to design a version of Nowhere that might be Somewhere we would want to live.

Girls will be girls

GUT SYMMETRIES by Jeanette Winterson, Granta pounds 15.99

Letter: Solidarity with Turkish writers

Solidarity with

Theatre; Duchess of Malfi Wyndhams, London

The Duchess of Malfi is one of the more frequently performed non- Shakespearian tragedies in the English repertoire. Indeed, the Wyndhams Theatre has now played host to Webster's drama twice in the one year. "I am Duchess of Malfi still" - "Yes, and don't we know it, dear," you're tempted to respond as, for the umpteenth time, you award her the Mrs Miniver trophy for stoic fortitude.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEATS

John Keats was born on 31 October 1795, and to celebrate the bicentennial there's a wreath-laying ceremony in Westminster Abbey (Keats was only admitted into the pantheon in the 1950s!) with readings by Victoria Glendinning, Ian McEwan, Michele Roberts and Keats biographer Andrew Motion (6pm, 31 Oct, details 0171 976 0983).
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