Arts & 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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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal