Arts and Entertainment

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

DJ Taylor: What the Dickens are we doing in Sri Lanka?

With his bicentenary coming up next month, a gathering in Galle shows how the British Council is retuning its antennae
'I was told [a] mafia don issued a weapons to two hitmen to eliminate me. Will do video link instead. Damn.' Salman Rushdie on Twitter

Hitmen are after me, says Rushdie as he pulls out of Indian festival

From modest beginnings it has become one of the biggest literary festivals on earth. This year the roster of big names talking about their work includes Michael Ondaatje, Tom Stoppard, Richard Dawkins, Annie Proulx, Hari Kunzru, Shashi Tharoor and William Dalrymple, the festival's co-director.

Robert Hanks: The bookshelves of holiday cottages speak volumes about us

Every summer, the press is briefly preoccupied by the question of what reading material we should take on holiday: books pages are crowded with recommendations by public and literary figures, while commentators are obliged to parse the book choices of our political leaders.

A 'Between The Covers' Special

Your guide to what's really going on inside the world of the Man booker longlist

Luka And The Fire Of Life, By Salman Rushdie

Twenty years ago, Rushdie wrote the enchanting Haroun and the Sea of Stories for his first son. This fabular children's story, featuring Haroun as older brother to Luka, was Rushdie's gift to his second son on his 12th birthday.

My Life In Travel: Dan Snow, historian and television presenter

'The best way to see the world is from a boat'

Celebrated literary feud ends after Naipaul and Theroux bury the hatchet

After fifteen years of a very public feud, V S Naipaul and Paul Theroux have finally buried the hatchet.

Beauty and the Inferno, By Roberto Saviano

An offer one cannot refuse

Vladimir Nabokov: Genius or narcissist?

With publication of yet another florid paean to Lolita's creator, Viv Groskop asks what it means to be the ultimate 'writer's writer'

The Circle of Reason, By Amitav Ghosh

An India that owes more to Dickens than to Rushdie

Time for publishers to cultivate a new wave of Asian writing

I set up The Asian Writer, an online literary magazine, to raise the profile of published authors, after becoming frustrated that they were given little mainstream exposure. I wanted to give emerging writers a platform to showcase their work. As an aspiring novelist, I wished to create a safe haven for like-minded individuals who were defying their parents' wishes by pursuing a career in writing instead of banking. As a publishing graduate I struggle with the concept of Asian writers being pigeonholed and packaged into writing one type of fiction – especially when the needs of millions of readers are being so poorly served. The few Asian writers who earn mainstream success appear out of touch with their own people (I'm thinking Kiran Desai, Michael Ondaatje and Salman Rushdie here). Kudos to those who have carved a niche for themselves by going against the grain. Both Roopa Farooki and Nisha Minhas have been successful at targeting the chick-lit market, for example.

Battle to save George Eliot's unspoilt vista

Victorian novelist's home, which inspired 'Mill on the Floss', is at risk from development

Literary lion of the lens

In a career spanning 40 years, the photographer Mark Gerson, now 89, shot most of the biggest names in English literature, from Roald Dahl to Salman Rushdie.

Salman Rushdie signs deal to publish memoir

Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie - who was for many years in hiding after he was subject to a Fatwah - has signed a deal to publish his memoir, it was announced today.

Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service, 6 Music, Sunday<br/>Night Waves, Radio 3, Tuesday

Score draw in the battle of the Rushdies
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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own