Arts and Entertainment

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

No prizes for peace as Nobel judges fall out over literature shortlist

By Imre Karacs in Stockholm

My plight is as bad as Rushdie's if he had been living in Iran

IN HER FIRST interview since defiantly returning home last month, Taslima Nasreen, the controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer, told The Independent of her anguish as Islamic fundamentalists renewed their campaign to have her executed.

Theatre: haroun and the sea of stories

Yes, Salman Rushdie, you shall go to the ball. The best news of last week was that the author of Haroun and the Sea of Stories (above) would be able to attend the press night of the stage premiere of his novel without the need for a phalanx of bodyguards. The chances are that he will have enjoyed not only his freedom but the show itself as it has been adapted and directed by Tim Supple, whose versions of Grimm Tales and More Grimm Tales at the Young Vic have been so sensationally enjoyable.

First Night: Freed from shadow of the fatwa

Haroun and the Sea of Stories National Theatre London

A pawn in the battle for Iran

Rushdie's plight was never the point. The moderates had to oust the fundamentalists to make friends with the West

Essay: A victory for literary freedom

Iran's retreat on the Salman Rushdie fatwa is not the end of censorship, argues Ursula Owen

Spilling the beans, and human rites

A week is a long time in literature. At the beginning we had the Starr Report, a classic drama of adultery in high places, if ever there was one. Then, in London, came the announcement of the Booker Prize shortlist, an annual ritual that inspires a routine burst of light-hearted acrimony about the relative loftiness or small-mindedness (take your pick) of the so-called judges appointed to decide such matters.


ARVIND JAIN, pictured right, in front of the Delhi house which is the subject of a court battle with Salman Rushdie, regarding disputed ownership. Mr Rushdie is attempting to reclaim the property that his father once owned. Mr Jain is adamant he is entitled to stay, and is not going without a fight. "We are not going anywhere and are entirely confident of winning this case," he said.

Fatwa alive, say British Muslims

THE MUSLIM community in Great Britain was split yesterday between those still angered by Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses and those who want to put the damaging affair behind them.

Books: How to thrill a thirtysomething

A Week in Books

Rushdie steps out as a free man

(if this is what you call freedom)

Secret talks that ended a 10-year ordeal

WHEN ROBIN Cook, the Foreign Secretary, landed in New York early yesterday, he was hopeful that Iran would end the threat to Salman Rushdie. And yet fears of a last-minute hitch still made his party nervous.



Literature: Riding an emotional rollercoaster

Ten years ago, when he was editing The Voice, Onyekachi Wambu (right) decided to mark the 40th anniversary of the arrival of 492 Jamaican immigrants at Tilbury Docks in the former troopship Empire Windrush. In conjunction with Lambeth Council and the South London Press, the paper published a booklet entitled Forty Winters, a riposte to a remark made by a journalist who interviewed the newcomers at the time, suggesting that they would all be gone after one winter. It received almost no attention.

Interview: Hanif Kureishi - Mid-life Kureishi

His writing has run the gamut from sex to tumble dryers and his new work has been praised for uncompromisingly laying life bare. But then, whose life is it anyway?
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor