Arts and Entertainment

'Napoleon was a terrific guy before he started crossing national borders,' says Andrew Wylie

Novelist Jim Crace who has been shortlisted for the Man Booker for Harvest

British authors to compete with American literary giants after Man Booker Prize opens up to global fiction

Writers of all nationalities will now be able to compete for the prestigious English-language literature prize

Best-selling author Iain Banks

Final Iain Banks book The Quarry published as writers prepare tribute at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Crime writers Ian Rankin and Val McDermid will pay tribute to the late Iain Banks at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Fighting prejudice: author Zadie Smith

Women writers in the ascendant in Granta's once-a-decade Best of Young British Novelists list

The future of women’s fiction looks bright as the once-a-decade list of best young British authors was dominated, for the first time in its 40-year history, by female authors.

Under new Facebook regulations users can contact Tom Daley in his private inbox for the price of £10.68

It'll cost you over a tenner to Facebook message Tom Daley - but why doesn't he see a penny of it?

This new system, which connects strangers and celebrities, seems far behind Twitter

Scientific writer Simon Singh; Salman Rushdie and Stephen Fry are supporting the campaign

Authors plead with government not to risk planned libel reforms

Simon Singh leads calls for politicians to get stalled Defamation Bill on to statute book

Lane: his first novel came out thanks to a drink-fuelled poker game

Simon Lane: Novelist whose life outdid his fiction

Simon Lane was one of those writers whose published oeuvre is only matched by the supreme fiction of their own existence, the mythic resonance of their travels and tribulations, those who boldly spin the text of their own legend daily, or more likely nightly. He was the absolute embodiment of the English gentleman-novelist in permanent exile, a self-described "drinker with a writing problem"; it was reassuring to know that in the most distant exotic corners of the world Lane would always be there, in an impeccably stained handmade suit, propping up some impossibly dangerous bar dispensing outrageous wit and wisdom.

Book critics with acid pens vie for Hatchet Job of the Year award

According to this year's nominees Martin Amis served up 'blanched stereotypes on a platter'; Salman Rushdie got 'small'; and Noami Wolf's work is 'utter drivel'

The 700th and final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man saw Peter Parker locked in a battle to the death with arch-villain Otto Octavius

Oh what a tangled web: Marvel kills off Peter Parker, but Spider-Man fans aren’t buying it

The superhero may have spun his last web

Insights: Wendy Cope's hybrid archive includes 40,000 emails
Salman Rushdie, who, like the British author Zoe Heller, is now resident in New York

Will Salman Rushdie greet this stinging review with 'lordly nonchalance'?

Author-critic Zoe Heller's excoriating verdict on the literary titan's book expected to start a fight

Shahin Najafi, who lives in Germany, has been called the Salman Rushdie of music after more than 100 people joined an online campaign to 'execute' him since the release of his song on 7 May

'Blasphemous' rapper Shahin Najafi goes into hiding after Iran's hardline clerics put a $100,000 bounty on his head

An Iranian rapper has been forced into hiding after hardline clerics offered a $100,000 reward for his murder, incensed by his song satirising the Tehran regime and making allegedly irreverent remarks about an imam.

Imran Khan cancels Delhi appearance after learning Salman Rushdie was also invited

Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has pulled out of a conference in Delhi because the author Salman Rushdie is booked to speak at the same event.

Can We Talk About This, Lyttelton

Can We Talk About This? -- a broadside by Lloyd Newson and his dance company DV8 against the allegedly soft and supine liberal propritation of Islamic fundamentalism and its threat to (amongst other things) free speech -- should be subtitled Can We Dance About This?

Goodwin in Nice, France in 2009

Andreas Whittam-Smith: Odious and harmful: honours must go

If the honours system is going to be used to punish people as well as to reward them, then it has become a nonsense. Fred Goodwin, who has just had his knighthood removed on account of his role in the banking crisis when he was chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has not been charged with any offence, let alone convicted of one. Nor has he been formally reprimanded by the banking regulators. He was regarded with severe disapproval, but nothing more than that. Notice, too, that this was a purely political decision. It was a way of diverting popular anger at bankers' bonuses towards a supposed scapegoat.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Those out to murder Rushdie will never learn

On Wednesday, I was drinking Indian chai with the writer William Dalrymple at his beautiful farmhouse outside Delhi. I was interviewing him for a book I am writing on England and the East. He is well settled out there and rightly admired for his magnificent books on India and for starting the Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF), now the equivalent of Cannes for writers and celebs.

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...