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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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
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File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
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Passing on: George Washington died alert, aware and in his own bed. This is the kind of of death most people would like to have
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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
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Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game