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.
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Wednesday 17 July 2013
Britain is to supply rebels in Syria with defences against chemical attacks, including protective hoods, after repeated claims that regime forces have been using sarin gas.
Musician and 'Anders Breivik sympathiser' Kristian Vikernes arrested in France for 'plotting massacre'
Tuesday 16 July 2013
Authorities 'intercepted violent comments' on messages transmitted by Vikernes on the internet
Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker calls snap elections amid secret service scandal – risking longest held office for any EU leader
Thursday 11 July 2013
Prime Minister bows to pressure from junior coalition partner but 'very much' hopes party will back him to seek re-election
Wednesday 10 July 2013
This novella of connected stories is set in the early years of Israel, on an agricultural kibbutz somewhere in Ben Gurion's socialist state.
Tuesday 09 July 2013
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was allegedly paid from a slush fund operated by the governing People’s Party (PP) when he was a minister in the 1990s, according to documents published in the newspaper El Mundo. The accusations drew denials from the PP and calls for Mr Rajoy’s resignation, from opposition parties weary of austerity measures and an economy mired in recession.
Tuesday 02 July 2013
The leader of France’s far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, was stripped of her parliamentary immunity, opening the way for charges of inciting racial hatred to be laid against her.
Sunday 30 June 2013
Gyula Horn was the last Communist Foreign Minister of Hungary, who started opening the Iron Curtain. On 27 June 1989 he joined Alois Mock, the Austrian Foreign Minister, to pull down a section of the barbed wire dividing their countries. During the following months thousands of East Germans used the route to emigrate to Austria and West Germany. It was the beginning of the end for East German Communism. In Hungary Horn is better known for a massive austerity programme when he was Prime Minister in 1995. The package sparked massive opposition.
Friday 28 June 2013
A report calls out the left for embracing fundamentalists
Wednesday 26 June 2013
Council bans payday loans on public PCs
Thursday 20 June 2013
The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen faces prosecution for “inciting religious hatred” after a European Parliament committee decided to lift her parliamentary immunity.
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Greece’s governing coalition avoided collapse on Monday night in the wake of a dispute over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s decision to close the state television broadcaster.
Thursday 13 June 2013
Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation shut down while on-air in move to curb ‘excesses’
Wednesday 12 June 2013
When Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were establishing the global mood music of the monetarist, greed-is-good 1980s, Pierre Mauroy sought to make France dance to a different tune. As the first Socialist Prime Minister of the Fifth Republic (1981-84) and first prime minister of the François Mitterrand era, Mauroy pursued a policy of nationalisation, taxation of the rich, increased minimum wages, retirement at 60 and a 39-hour working week.
Sunday 02 June 2013
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party, already enfeebled by a chaotic national leadership election last year, faces further ridicule in a Paris town hall primary election which ends tonight.
Saturday 01 June 2013
One of Brazil’s most famous players is now outspoken critic of their attempts to host the finals
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
- 1 Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back