Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

The spectacular New York City skyline

The travel agency of mum & dad

Recession-hit adult children are being forced to holiday with their parents, survey shows

Dick Advocaat celebrates return to PSV with 4-2 win over Ajax in Dutch Super Cup

PSV coach Dick Advocaat and captain Mark van Bommel celebrated their return to the club with a 4-2 victory over champions Ajax to claim the Dutch Super Cup.

Tom Hodgkinson: 'As a family, we go to festivals. And work'

The Sex Pistols, brilliantly, attacked the holy trinity of the modern economy: work, shopping and holidays, that is, paid employment, consumption and paid-for leisure. In "17", Johnny Rotten sang: "I don't work, I just speed, that's all I need," adding, with pride, "I'm a lazy sod." "Anarchy in the UK" complains that our Queen's "future dream is a shopping scheme", and in "Holidays in the Sun" he sneered at those who take a cheap holiday in other people's misery.

Harriet Walker: 'Don't ever look ropey – just in case!'

What you wear in your dreams is very important. While in the pub with my fashion friend last week, she narrated a gruesome piece of night-time mind cinema, in which she'd been assaulted in a handicrafts shop by some girls she was at school with. "The worst part," she explained, "wasn't that I couldn't find the right colour of wool or that they were being so vile to me; it was when I realised I was wearing a horrible, horrible coat. And there was nothing I could do about it. I was saying, 'This isn't my coat, honest,' but they just didn't believe me."

'My songs come out of a mature viewpoint on my life' - Elizabeth McGovern

Lady Cora turns to rock'n'roll – but don't expect youthful rage and heartbreak

The Downton Abbey actress came late to music but says it is her passion

Films of the week

July 14 - July 20, 2012

Lisa Markwell: With so much choice, why would anyone feel they had to go to M&S?

Be brave, ditch cheap embellishments and scary patterns and go utterly plain

Sharp rise in women over 40 having babies

Women are embracing motherhood later in life than ever. Births to women over 40 rose to almost 30,000 last year, three times higher than in 1991.

Boyd Tonkin: Excluded and vexed, I fell right down the rabbit hole

No doors ever looked more barred than the Bodleian's on Monday night.

Room Service: Thompson Belgraves, London

Belgraves, which occupies the former Sheraton Belgravia, is the first European venture for Thompson Hotels, a group that made its name with a collection of boutique properties in Manhattan. Its US hotels are known for design-led chic, though they retain a level of affordability, and Belgraves follows the same model.

Finding his voice?: Matthew Perry stars as a grief-stricken sports presenter in the new sitcom 'Go On'

Friend in need of a good role

Could Matthew Perry's new sitcom be The One Where He Finally Gets A Lucky Break? Sarah Hughes finds out

Hodgson knows that his key men need plenty of rest between games

Entire England first team fail to train as Roy Hodgson gets heated

Manager concerned about searing temperatures in Ukraine while weary senior players sit out session

Then, By Julie Myerson

Set in a post-apocalyptic London where even breathing feels like a "rough and complicated act", Myerson's new novel is related by a female narrator who can't remember anything, not even her own name.

Jubilate, By Michael Arditti

"Leaving the miraculous out of life is like leaving out the lavatory or dreams or breakfast," wrote Graham Greene. Judging from his fiction, Michael Arditti might share a similar credo.

All smiles: Charlie and Craig Reid of The Proclaimers

Scotland's singing siblings The Proclaimers celebrate 25 years in the music business

The Proclaimers celebrate 25 years in pop with a new album. James McNair meets them

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Mark Wright and Bianca Miller in the final of The Apprentice
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick