Arts and Entertainment

Some great authors have published their worst works from beyond the grave. A few though, keep getting better when they’re dead, such as the Chilean novelist and short story writer, Roberto Bolaño. His seminal five-part novel, 2666, came out posthumously, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and convinced the world he was not just a master of the short form but could put out his life’s best work at nearly 900 pages, even after death.

Invisible Ink: No 145 - Ethel Lina White

Just as home video confounded doom-mongers by eventually boosting the cinema box office, so e-reading appears to be having a positive effect on print authors, and many forgotten novels are returning to paperback after being rediscovered online. One recent happy surprise was finding that Ethel Lina White was one of several missing writers now being reprinted by Arcturus Publishing.

There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, By Chinua Achebe

A great veteran of a bitter conflict looks back in sadness, and reflects on the role of words in war

Singing sentences: Villa La Foce in Tuscany, Italy

Boyd Tonkin: Music can make words bloom again – and not just poetry, but prose

Music and literature have blended in harmony ever since (in Kipling's words) "'Omer smote 'is blooming lyre" in Bronze Age Greece, where both lyric and epic verse was sung. Yet we take this fruitful kinship, or twinship, too much for granted. Specialists study the relationships between word, sound and meaning in song-cycles, opera or pop lyrics (sometimes, as in Christopher Ricks's readings of Bob Dylan, with dazzling virtuosity). But opportunities to hear every chord in the music-literature dialogue remain scarce. Hence the value of the Notes & Letters festival, which runs for a second year this weekend. Its participants range from one novelist who is also a ground-breaking musician (Amit Chaudhuri plays a gig with his eclectic east-west band) to another with a sideline as a performer (Andrey Kurkov takes the floor with a Russian-Ukrainian cabaret), and other authors - such as Ali Smith and Janice Galloway – inspired by music and musicians.

East beats West: Bulgarian author Miroslav Penkov wins £15,000 short story award

Bulgarian author Miroslav Penkov has won the £15,000 BBC International Short Story Award for his story East of the West.

Eileen Beasley: Welsh language campaigner

The Rosa Parks of the language movement in Wales was a polite but steel-willed housewife who, with her husband, refused to pay rates on their house in Llangennech, Carmarthenshire, while Llanelli Rural District Council issued demands in English only.

Margaret Mahy

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…"

Irish Prime Minister leads tributes to 'trailblazing' author Maeve Binchy

Bestselling author Maeve Binchy was today dubbed a “trailblazer” for a generation of female writers, as tributes poured in following her death last night.

Book of a lifetime: Ficciones, By Jorge Luis Borges

It is not the reading that matters," declares a character in Jorge Luis Borges's "A Weary Man's Utopia", "but the rereading". I've applied this advice to its author's work consistently over the years. So it would seem natural for me to pick this writer for my book of a lifetime, the only problem being which book? Or rather, which collection, since Borges's work was all short pieces: stories, essays, poetry.

Terence Blacker: Who needs happiness? Not the Boss

At first glance, the news is enough to bring on a bout of depression. Bruce Springsteen, so rugged and manly, so reassuringly uncomplicated, has joined the ever-swelling ranks of celebrity depressives. Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax, Monty Don, Ben Stiller – and now The Boss: a BBC4 documentary exploring his secret, vulnerable side can only be a matter of time.

Slick city: 'I didn't go to New York until I was 30. It's an extraordinary place'

My Life In Travel: Jacqueline Wilson, children's author

'I've met children all over the world and they all laugh at the same things'

Also showing: The Women on the 6th Floor, 7 Days in Havana and Total Recall

The Women on the 6th Floor (106 mins, 12A)

Book of a Lifetime: The Cement Garden, by Ian McEwan

In 1975 Ian McEwan was famous at our school because his short story collection, First Love, Last Rites, was sensationally banned by our doddering headmistress, Miss Gems. After examining a stray copy, Miss Gems set about a full-scale censorship to protect us from what she declared was a shocking, dirty book. Copies were confiscated, detentions issued to those of us who admitted to having read it. We found it hilarious. As a result of the ban everyone saved up to buy a copy.

The Week in Books: Africa's stories span comedy and tragedy – and every stage in between

History, wrote Edward Gibbon as he wearily surveyed the decline and fall of the Roman empire, "is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind".

Michael Morpurgo: War Child to War Horse, By Maggie Fergusson Fourth Estate, £18.99

A portrait of the first Children's Laureate from his difficult childhood to a prolific career

Invisible Ink: No 128 - Pamela Hansford Johnson

By the start of the 21st century it seemed that readability had become a liability; surely award-winners lacked complexity if their books were too accessible? Happily this attitude is now passing, and lucid writing is once more being recognised as a desirable literary trait, which may partly explain why Pamela Hansford Johnson's work is coming back into print (the other reason is that ebooks provide an affordable route to republication).

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?