Arts and Entertainment

The idea of The Great American Novel feels like an albatross around the neck of that country’s literature. Sooner or later every white middle-class male writer with any kind of reputation feels obliged to have a stab at it, usually with limited success. Eventually they think it’s time to pack away all the fun stuff like storytelling, energy and plot, and make some big state-of-the-nation address, telling people exactly how things stand in the good ol’ US of A. Interestingly, America’s women writers don’t tend to feel the obligation to grandstand so strongly, and their novels are usually all the better for that.

There is no love lost between Valérie Trierweiler, François Hollande’s partner, left, and Ségolène Royal, the President’s ex, right

French First Lady Valérie Trierweiler turns against President's ex Ségolène Royal

France's First Lady, Valérie Trierweiler, provoked a political and conjugal storm yesterday by publicly supporting a rebel candidate against Ségolène Royal, President François Hollande's former partner.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez seeks re-election

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez rallied tens of thousands of supporters, wearing his signature red beret and singing a folk song as he launched his re-election bid.

François Hollande set to deliver French left majority

The triumph of the French left in the first round of parliamentary elections threatens to redraw the map of party politics in France.

French socialists eye unity after election

Allies of French President Francois Hollande mobilised today in hopes of securing a crushing parliamentary majority for the Socialists that could bolster him in talks on how to save the embattled euro currency and revive Europe's economic fortunes.

President Hollande votes in the parliamentary elections in Tulle

Left poised for victory that would clear François Hollande to pursue growth

The moderate left was on course for a comfortable victory in French parliamentary elections last night, strengthening President François Hollande's grip on power.

Marine Le Pen's National Front may win seats for the first time

Hollande braced for 'worst nightmare' in elections

President's austerity plans are in jeopardy as the hard left is set for a strong showing

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen's hopes of winning a seat for the NF may be hit by a split right-wing vote

French Left set for historic triumph but Socialists will fall short of majority

Polls show Hollande may need help of Greens and Communists

Sheridan's staged life story faces a rewrite

The rise and fall of Tommy Sheridan, the controversial Scottish politician, is to be turned into a "tragi-comedy" by the creator of Rab C Nesbitt.

'The Sage of Twickenham': Vince Cable

Owen Jones: How did 'socialist' turn into an insult?

Having just moved to north London, I was perturbed to be woken on Tuesday morning by a whirring sound in the distance. When I glanced at the Telegraph's front page later that day – which revealed that multi-millionaire Tory donor Adrian Beecroft had accused Vince Cable of being a socialist – I realised it must have been Karl Marx spinning violently in his Highgate Cemetery grave. The great man shouldn't take it to heart: Beecroft strikes me as the sort of bloke who would accuse opponents of privatising the first-born for being a bit "pinko".

DJ Taylor: Is Joey Barton a Roundhead or a Cavalier?

The Civil War may be hundreds of years ago, but its divisions still linger. Talking of unending atrocities, Alan Partridge is back

Greece: Poll boosts 'austerity' politicians

Less than a day after taking office, Greece's new caretaker government was faced with yet another credit downgrade as Fitch that warned Athens of a "probable" exit from the eurozone if pro-bailout parties failed to win new elections due on 17 June.

François Hollande delivers on gender in government

President François Hollande showed an unexpectedly ruthless streak yesterday by shaping a gender-balanced French government from which several friends, and one notable foe, were excluded.

Greece appoints caretaker PM as elections are set for 17 June

Greece has appointed a senior judge as prime minister of a caretaker government that will lead the country to repeat elections next month.

Leading article: François Hollande is less radical than he seems

Differences between Mr Hollande and Ms Merkel are more of style than of substance

HSBC cautiously welcomes the next French President

The HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said he remained "sanguine" about the prospects of France after the election of its new President, François Hollande.

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Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map