Arts and Entertainment

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, By Suzanne Johnson

A tale of quirky women who operate outside the mainstream

Simon Calder: Lazing on a sunny afternoon, Greek style

The man who pays his way

Islandhopping: Hanko in southern Finland, where the coastline is dotted with 179,000 islands

My life in travel: Griff Rhys Jones, comedian, actor, writer and presenter

'I'm likely to be travelling in India with my head in a book about Patagonia'

Simon Calder: Foreign Office seeks to enlighten travelling fans

Think twice about drinking in Poland: "You can be taken to a drying-out clinic, where you'll be medically assessed and not released until sober. You will be required to pay the cost of any overnight stay."

Destination Italy: Write about 'a close encounter' to win

Writing competition update: Win a trip for two to Italy – plus have your travel story published in <i>The IoS</i>

The Independent on Sunday has once again joined forces with Bradt Travel Guides (bradtguides.com) to offer readers the chance to win our travel-writing competition, with a top prize this year of a holiday for two to Abruzzo in Italy and publication of the winning entry in the travel section of the paper.

Venetian Navigators, By Andrea di Robilant

To boldy go where no man has gone before (possibly)

The British Library has released an audio collection of the work of 20th-century travel writers, from Laurie Lee to Freya Stark; price £16. Go to bl.uk/shop

Tips and deals of the week

The collection

Author Louis de Bernières

'I've been through absolute hell'

The author Louis de Bernières tells Emily Jupp about the pain of a crumbling relationship and the threat of losing his children

Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria, By Noo Saro-Wiwa

"My father's murder severed my personal links with Nigeria," writes Noo Saro-Wiwa in the prologue of her travelogue. Looking for Transwonderland is set in Nigeria, a country that venerated her father, Ken, for his 1980s TV comedy series, Basi & Company, and then executed him less than a decade later for his politics: a campaign against Shell's despoliation of the oil-rich delta. "In the ten years after my father's death, I returned only twice for very brief visits to attend his official funeral in 2000, and his actual burial in 2005."

The guidebook: Insight Guides’ Select series has four new editions: Marrakech, Paris, Chicago and Shanghai, all bound in patterned linen. £9.99 each. Go to Insightguides.com

Tips and deals of the week: Insight Guides, Milli Millu and Radisson Edwardian

The Guidebook

Insight Guides' Select series has four new editions: Marrakech, Paris, Chicago and Shanghai, all bound in patterned linen. £9.99 each.

Go to Insightguides.com

<p><b>Overcrowded, overpriced and overrated: welcome to Britain</b><br/>'Down-in-the-dumps Dover has seen better days and its derelict, post-war architecture and shabby town centre... is a sad introduction to Blighty'</p>

The 12 most-read 2011 articles in Travel

From Spanish airport strikes to naked German spas, Steve Anderson runs down the most popular articles published in 2011, as well as a few editors' favourites

Album: Various artists, The Rough Guide to World Lullabies (World Music Network)

This makes for a very pleasant hour: lullabies are the most universal of art forms, and the wishes expressed by these mothers are both multifarious and significant.

Inside travel: Guidebooks

<b>Andrew Steed</b> reflects on how guidebooks and maps have changed since he started selling them

The 50 Best European beach breaks

Whether it's Britain's bays, stunning Sweden or the magical Med, Enjoli Liston selects the top spots by the sea

The 10 best travel books

Lonely Planets and Rough Guides are always pretty handy, but to really capture the romance of roaming, seek out these travelogues...

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine