Arts and Entertainment Roddy Doyle and Roy Keane as 'The Commitments' author Doyle has signed a deal to work with Keane to write the footballer's autobiography

Roddy Doyle, author of "The Commitments", has signed a deal to work with Roy Keane on the controversial ex-footballer’s latest autobiography.

Boyd Tonkin: The labour pains of the literary judge

Apologies to recent mothers for undue flippancy, but, in one respect at least, judging the Man Booker Prize resembles childbirth. You want to have done it, but you don't want to be doing it. The entire messy business does more or less match human gestation. It begins with the public proclamation of that year's pregnancy, in the form of a judging panel. In October, the ordeal finishes as the stunned new victor blinks into the limelight.

Booker Prize pits tiny Highlands publisher against literary giants

A publisher operating out of a bedroom in a flat in the Scottish Highlands has had one of its novels longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The Blagger's Guide To...The Orange Prize

Sorry boys...the friendliest prize in town is back

The Forgotten Waltz, By Anne Enright

This wry, philosophical take on office infidelity is hilarious at times, while also making you re-evaluate everything a novel can be

Le Carré refuses to join Man Booker race

Many disgruntled authors have expressed displeasure at being overlooked by the Man Booker prize as nominees. Yesterday, the espionage writer John Le Carré surprised the literary establishment by complaining about the opposite.

Sounds of the street: How authors are turning to slang narratives as a more authentic mode of storytelling

Stephen Kelman's feted first novel is told largely through youth speech and street slang. Arifa Akbar talks to him and other writers to explore the vernacular tradition in literary fiction

Chapman's Odyssey, By Paul Bailey

In one sense, this novel is the story of Paul Bailey's elderly protagonist Harry Chapman – former actor, writer, sometime lecturer – and his (only somewhat Homeric) journey out of this life after he finds himself in hospital with acute stomach pains. Those familiar with Bailey's literary game-playing, however – in novels such as the Booker Prize-shortlisted Peter Smart's Confessions and Gabriel's Lament – will recognise the allusiveness in the title. It invokes not only the celebrated Jacobean translation of Homer's epic by George Chapman (already featured in Bailey's Sugar Cane), but also John Keats's poetic panegyric on the elevating effects of great literature, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer".

E-book prize: A new chapter or a damaging novelty?

The Booker judges are assessing this year's entries on e-readers – but that may mean losing a little literary magic, says Arifa Akbar

Diary: Ken backs out of Press gang

Ken Livingstone, Labour's candidate for London Mayor, is parting ways with Press TV, the English-language news channel funded by the Iranian government. Livingstone has filmed a series of seven monthly book review shows, but claims he'd never planned any further programmes for the channel, which many consider a mere mouthpiece for beige-loving Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Unkind commentators suggest Ken's announcement came coincidentally close behind news that NatWest has frozen the channel's British trading account, thus preventing any payments to its contributors. I, for one, prefer to imagine he was following the lead of this column's favourite Estonian (I only know the one) glamour model-bothering ex-MP for Montgomeryshire, Lembit Opik, who – as I exclusively revealed some months ago, though it went bafflingly unreported elsewhere – left Press TV so as to sever any "controversial links" prior to his own proposed campaign for the mayoralty. Expect to see Ken on Celebrity Come Dine With Me in the very near future.

Bad sex please, we're British: Can fictive sex ever have artistic merit?

When the unexpurgated Penguin edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover was finally cleared of obscenity, three decades after DH Lawrence's death and a highly-publicised trial, it marked a victory for literary freedom. Those who had not already got their hands on a contraband copy rushed to exercise their right to read of Lady Constance and her gamekeeper lover, in flagrante, uttering previously unprintable words.

Costa judge laments a weak year for fiction

If Ian McEwan and David Mitchell's publishers were hoping to forget their Man Booker Prize snub earlier this year, then they will find cold comfort in the Costa award shortlist, revealed yesterday, which failed to feature either of their latest novels.

Letters: Family life in Japan

Pete Dorey's observation of the four young women sitting in a pub chatting and texting on their phones while not exchanging a word with each other (letter, 11 October), brought to mind an outing with my daughters last week.

Jacobson puts a smile on the face of the Booker

The prestigious literary prize has traditionally spurned comic novels. But not last night

Bookies fear big loss if favourite wins Booker

Bookmakers fear a six-figure payout after slashing the odds on the favourite for today's Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Bookie bars betting on the Booker after glut of wagers

A leading bookmaker has suspended betting on the Booker prize six days before the judges meet to decide the winner.

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