Arts and Entertainment

The Orange Prize winner Suzanne Berne is on familiar ground with her fifth novel examining life in an affluent American village. Littlefield, Massachusetts, is named one of the 10 best places to live in America. Curiously, it also houses an unusually high number of psychotherapists. Clarice Watkins, a sociologist from the University of Chicago, decides to study Littlefield to find out exactly what makes it such a good place to live. She arrives to find a town at war, split between those who want their dogs to be off the leash in the local park and those who object. Opinions become more polarised when someone starts poisoning dogs and an undercurrent of fear pulses through the community.

Royal flush: a scene from 'Powder Room'

Stall talk: The arcane rules of chit-chat that take place in the gents'

Nearly 50 years after John Osborne and Arnold Wesker gave the world the kitchen-sink drama, a new dramatic form has entered the fray: the bathroom-sink drama.

Who was Hermann Rorschach? Google doodle celebrates psychoanalyst's famous inkblot test

Black and white doodle features cartoon version of renowned psychoanalyst

Is social media ruining your university experience?

From club toilet selfies to that horrible feeling of FOMO, Natasha Preskey wonders whether social media is such a force for good

Day of the Girl: A survivor’s journey after female genital mutilation

Women in my community worry that they won’t be a good Somali woman if they haven’t undergone FGM.  This is a practice that continues to control women's sexuality

The Sex Box panel (from left to right): Phillip Hodson, Tracey Cox Dan Savage and Mariella Frostrup

Lovers to have sex in front of studio audience on new Mariella Frostrup show

Channel 4's Sex Box aiming to promote open dialogue about 'real sex' in light of the explosion in online porn

The pervy professors: Academics and their Universities must do better on sexual harassment

Common knowledge of abuses weakens the extent to which graduate students feel secure in their ‘home’ institution. Trust vanishes when harassers remain in their jobs

Graduate blues: Why we need to talk about post-university depression

We all know that students can suffer from mental ill-health at university - but what about post-graduation depression? Clare Dyckhoff investigates

Football and Manchester United are in Sir Alex Ferguson's veins

Time for Sir Alex Ferguson to consider new goals - for the sake of his wellbeing

Stepping down from a job is a challenge for mere mortals - the loss of status, structure and income can have a grave psychological impact. For a football god it will be much harder.

Mark Yeates gives his Watford team-mate Matej Vydra a hand up

Gianfranco Zola's body language betrays Watford's promotion disappointment

There's something of the country curate about Gianfranco Zola, a transparent decency and thoughtfulness which makes one care for his welfare. In such a harsh, unremittingly challenging environment as professional football, his body language is too eloquent for his own good.

James McAvoy’s Simon, right, is about as unreliable as a narrator gets in Trance

Jonathan Romney on Trance: Danny Boyle loses himself in a hall of mirrors

Who doesn't love Boyle the Olympic hero? What a pity it's harder to like Boyle the director

Are universities doing enough to support students with mental health problems?

Statistics show students are struggling with mental health more than ever. Is your university doing enough to provide for your welfare?

The posters were a pun on a similar campaign run by the gay rights group Stonewall which used the slogan: “Some people are gay, get over it”.

'Gay cure' group takes TfL to court over banned advert

A Christian group who believe gay men and women can be “cured” of their homosexual leanings is taking London Underground to court over an advert that was banned from the city’s buses and trains.

Review: The House on the Cliff, By Charlotte Williams

Cool sleuth presses all the right buttons

A Chorus Line, London Palladium

A Chorus Line, London Palladium

Hang on to those golden toppers; A Chorus Line is back in town for the first time in over three decades. And, make no mistake, it's alive and kicking. Michael Bennett's legendary 1975 show has been lovingly recreated here by director Bob Avian (who was his original co-choreographer) and by Baayork Lee (one of the original cast) who has re-staged the dancing. The indelible design elements are the same – the empty black box with its painted white line and the twirling mirrors at the rear. The Seventies context has been left wholly intact. But there's no whiff of mothballs or of the odour of sanctity about this production which is a miracle of seamlessness. The splendid (largely British) cast have made a sizzling connection with the show's timeless spirit of dedication to one's art through thick and thin and project it with exhilarating flair and force.

Paul Gascoigne pictured in November last year at a Lazio match

The FA and England Footballers' Foundation donate money to help Paul Gascoigne

Former England midfielder is battlling against alcoholism

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all