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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor