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Short Stories

Theatre review: The Victorian in the Wall, Royal Court Theatre, London

When Dominic Cooke took over at the Royal Court, he said he wanted to stage more plays about “what it means to be middle class”. Now, as the reins of artistic director pass to Vicky Featherstone, comes possibly the most middle-class play of his era - and very funny on the topic it is too.

Invisible Ink: No 169 - Jim Shephard

Here's an unusual situation; an author who's certainly not dead, not unknown or out of print in his native USA, greatly admired, yet ignored and unrepresented on these shores. While UK publishers reprint the most minor Nordic crime novels, we're denied an astonishing American voice.

Novel by Adam Johnson set inside North Korea wins Pulitzer prize

As the world waits to see what the North Korean dictatorship does next, the judges of the Pulitzer prizes yesterday honoured a novel acclaimed for its depiction of the secretive state, naming Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son” as the winner of the fiction award after withholding the prize last year.

The Week In Radio: A flush of joy from painfully funny family

Is it acceptable to talk on the phone when you're sitting on the toilet? The American humourist David Sedaris says not, though his sister Tiffany would beg to differ. "Don't mind me," she has been known to say, with the strained tone of someone engaging in heavy lifting, while clasping the phone to her ear. "I'm just… trying to get… the lid… off this… jar."

Margaret Mahy - Award-winning children’s author

"But Abel, though a treble, was a rascal and a rebel, fond of getting into trouble when he didn't have to sing. Pushing quickly through the people, Abel clambered up the steeple with nefarious intentions and a pebble in his sling…"

More headlines

Lewis Davies: Philanthropist and librarian whose generosity benefited

Lewis Davies was the younger brother of the writer Rhys Davies (1901-78). Like him, he was born at Blaenclydach, a mining village near Tonypandy in the Rhondda valley. Their father kept a small grocer's shop, known rather grandly as Royal Stores, and their mother was an uncertificated schoolteacher. Lewis, born in 1913, was the youngest of their six children.