Arts and Entertainment

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

The last word will be Rushdie

As the paperback of `The Satanic Verses' is published, Australian interviewer Susan Chenery, soon to join the `Independent on Sunday', finds its author in defiant mood

Norway warned on Rushdie

Norway warned on Rushdie

Small screen: Novel programming

We all have a novel in us. Anyway, that's the view of the author, Nigel Williams, who presents The Write Stuff, a new three-part BBC2 series on the art of novel writing. "Everyone has the ability to tell stories," he argues. "Look at News At Ten. You get fantastic storytelling from eye-witnesses with wonderful natural eloquence. You even see it on Beadle's About." Surely not.

All the thrills, glamour and heroism of an agent's life (an estate agent, that is)

I FEEL sorry for estate agents. For one thing, nobody has ever bothered to feature them in a major novel. But today all that is changed. Yes, today I bring you a major new work of fiction about an estate agent! Not only that, but it is an interactive novel. This means that you, the reader, have the power to change the course of the story by choosing the right option at various moments. Understand? Well, you will, as soon as you get into this complete novel about estate agents, entitled...

Cook vows to fight threat to Rushdie

SALMAN Rushdie was given public government backing yesterday when he was permitted to hold his first press conference in the ornate surroundings of the Foreign Office.

Letter: Salman Rushdie

YOU say, "Blair must act," in the case of Salman Rushdie ("The value of rage", Review, 8 February). When does he ever do anything else?

Books: A book that changed me - Wendy Perriam

When did you first read it? Probably in my pram, but certainly before the age of reason, which for Catholics means seven. It shaped my whole world view.

Network: Web sites

Nagano 1998

People: Their honour, his Nibbies

FROM Golden Globes and Oscars to the Evening Standard this and The South Bank Show that, arts awards are flying around like cricket balls in the West Indies. For some reason that I've never fully understood, I'm still waiting to hear the words, "And the winner is ... Rex Fontaine", but that doesn't stop me lapping up every ceremony going, and lounge-lizarding my way round the best hotels in the confident hope of seeing Melvyn Bragg in a tux.

Something horrible happened at the New Money party

This is the last day of the Old Year, and we all know what that means.

Rushdie's Future: Writing in Islam

Extracts from Seyyed Mohajerani's speech to the Iranian parliament on 20 August after which he was elected - by a very narrow margin - to be Minister of Islamic Guidance:

Rushdie's Future: `Passions rise as Iran seeks new talks on death sentence

With the return of European Union ambassadors to Tehran, the Iranian government hopes to re-start negotiations over the fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie. But as Our Correspondent in Tehran hears from the new Iranian minister of Islamic Guidance, Seyyed Ataollah Mohajerani, the Rushdie affair has no simple solutions.

Words: Arrogant

The Lord Chancellor has been widely accused of arrogance after boasting of his intimacy with Tony Blair. Earl Spencer has also been arrogant, in the view of the media, in his treatment of his Countess. And John le Carre has called Salman Rushdie a "self-canonising arrogant colonialist", for reasons that are not clear. Arrogance may soon overtake hypocrisy as top people's favourite sin.

I just want to ask her one question about her and Bill

`The Ambassador said Mrs Clinton would speak to as many guests as possible. An enormous queue formed. Oh no, I thought, she'll never get round us all, and anyway I want to watch the second half of Everton vs Southampton ... Hunter Davies reports from the American Embassy.

Blair's Hundred Days by Derek Draper, Faber pounds 7.99.

First serialised in the press at the end of the hundred days, but now appearing in book form, this reportage-diary is, of course, in danger of going further and further out of date even as you read it: hindsight is an endlessly powerful force in politics, as elsewhere. But as a swift- response, insider's-eye view it has an enjoyable freshness. Since it describes Blair's as "the most media-managed government in history" it is probably appropriate that the text is journalistic and immediate, but it's a shame when it degenerates into trash-rag cliches. From the first we find passages like this: "parties across the capital are in full flow. Helena Kennedy, the top barrister destined for the House of Lords, plays hostess to the luvvie and literati brigade, entertaining the likes of Salman Rushdie, who watch the results on a huge ITN jumbo screen, provided courtesy of Jon Snow, the cerebral and left-of-centre presenter of Channel 4 News..."
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn