Cultural Life: Tony Parsons, author

Books
I am working my way through everything Cormac McCarthy has written, and right now I am 100 pages in to The Road, about a father and son making their way across America after some eco-nightmare, and it is awesome. My non-fiction book is the autobiography of Teddy Atlas, the boxing trainer – Atlas From the Streets to the Ring: a Son's Struggle to Become a Man. The best book I have read over the last year is The Book of Dave by Will Self, which is just so imaginative, funny, gripping and sly. It would have won the Booker if literary life in this country wasn't such a racket.

On sale: the last work by a contented Van Gogh

In the final weeks of his troubled life, Vincent Van Gogh swung between emotional extremes. Lengthy periods of tortuous depression were punctuated by bursts of joy and creativity. The result, notably different in tone from the angst-ridden material he produced immediately before his suicide, was a set of child portraits that radiate the optimism and purity of youth.

Netherlands braced for Muslim anger as politician releases 'anti-Islam' film

For a film that lasts just 10 minutes and for which no one has even seen a trailer, it is creating one hell of an uproar. The cinematic debut from the anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders has forced the Netherlands to wrestle with the limits of its age-old tradition of free speech and stirred up anxieties about a multicultural society.

Whites fear Mugabe-style evictions as South Africa seizes first farm

South Africa has seized its first farm - in the clearest indication yet that it is bowing to growing pressure to redistribute land to majority blacks.

Honours inquiry finds 'valuable information'

The net was closing on Downing Street last night after the detective leading the inquiry into "cash for peerages" allegations involving Tony Blair said he had uncovered "significant and valuable information".

Stephen King: Economists go back to Victorian values

More attention needs to be paid to the income and wealth distribution consequences of globalisation

Nicholas Volley

Single-minded figurative painter

Thank you for your entry

Win two American Airlines flights to New York

Tracey Emin: My Life in a Column

This brutal witch-hunt of Kate Moss would push anyone further into drink and drugs

My Friend Leonard, by James Frey

A fixer who served up steak and Modigliani

Secret service link to film-maker's killing

A group linked to the suspected killer of the film-maker and critic of Islam Theo van Gogh had a mole inside the Dutch secret services, a court in Rotterdam heard yesterday.

Forget Pim Fortuyn: here are 20 genuine Dutch greats...

A month-long survey in the Netherlands resulted in the murdered politician being named as the greatest person in the country's history. Daniel Howden identifies 20 others with a better claim to that title

Theo van Gogh

Controversial film-maker
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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