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.

Butterfly's Shadow, By Lee Langley

Madame Butterfly, the next chapter

Exclusive: Ian Livingstone to write new fantasy story

Fantasy author Ian Livingstone is set to write a new short story as part of a celebration of videogames being held in Nottingham later this year.

A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman, By Margaret Drabble

There was once this woman," the title story opens. "She was quite famous, in a way." Social smiling masks the private world. The smiling woman lives above an unspeakable abyss. Its looming presence in the round of Jenny Jamieson's day is signalled in the numb, glazed tone that characterises the fable.

Aphrodite's Hat, By Salley Vickers

The secret lives of others

Win one of five signed copies of CJ Lines' new book Cold Mirrors

Cold Mirrors collects the short stories of acclaimed author CJ Lines for the first time. From the beauty regime of a Victorian drag queen to the dangers of conducting ritual magic on Twitter, these tales traverse the centuries and take a dark, slanted look at hidden realities that lurk beneath the surface of the mundane. Alternately horrifying, heartbreaking and hilarious, Cold Mirrors is an extraordinary collection of stories that will haunt you long after the final page is turned.

There But For The, By Ali Smith

There is usually a moment in an Ali Smith story when I ask myself "where can this strangest of beginnings lead?" and another moment when I think "why is half of this chapter written in parenthesis?"

The Doll: Short Stories, By Daphne du Maurier

For copyright reasons, there is no Collected Stories of Daphne du Maurier. If published, I believe it would prove Du Maurier to be one of the finest English short story writers. Known primarily for her novels (even then, mainly for Rebecca), Du Maurier's daring and unsettling short works are little discussed. When they are – as in the case of "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now" – it is because of their film adaptation by two great directors, Alfred Hitchcock and Nicolas Roeg.

Perfect Lives, By Polly Samson

The title of this short-story collection is of course, ironic. These sensitive studies of women with cheating husbands, babies who adore their babysitters, sensitive piano-tuners, unloving mothers wracked with guilt, are really about the secret disappointments and quiet tragedies that behind the façade of the "perfect life".

The Pale King, By David Foster Wallace

In his last, unfinished novel, David Foster Wallace pays attention to the fine detail of everyday mental activity

Leading article: Short story

It wasn't that long ago that being seen in a pair of shorts was the kiss of fashion death - fine for pre-pubertal boys, perhaps, but only admissible on a grown-up male when worn on the tennis court or the beach.

Paris Metro Tales, Edited by Helen Constantine

Below the City of Light runs the dark network of tunnels that makes up the Paris Metro. Editor and translator Helen Constantine has collected 22 short stories by French writers that cover a journey that begins at the Gare du Nord and ends at Lamarck-Caulaincourt.

Touchy Subjects, By Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue's Man Booker-shortlisted Room was inspired by the real life events of the Elisabeth Fritzl case. This collection of short stories, first published in 2006, sees the author in more frivolous mode, though still with a penchant for revealing secrets.

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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past