News Cacheco reads one of his poems in Mexico City; his birthplace formed the backdrop to his writing

Jose Emilio Pacheco was considered one of the finest writers in the Spanish language, winning the Cervantes Prize for Literature in 2009, the highest award for writers in what is the native language of more than 300 million people. The award from the Spanish Ministry of Culture was presented at the University of Alcala by Spain's King Juan Carlos. In his later years Pacheco became visiting Professor of Literature at the University of Essex.

Book of a lifetime: The Once and Future King, By TH White

I have loved so many books in my life that it always surprises me how easily the answer comes when people ask me about my favourite book. There is no doubt in my mind, although the question summons many beloved titles. It is 'The Once and Future King' by TH White: the book I would take to the island; the book I want by the side of my deathbed; the book I wish I had written.

Kicking myself as Lady Geek catches the IT bug

Less than one in five technology jobs are held by women. A new book, by an old friend, should make employers, parents and teachers sit up.

Here come the curls: Sheridan Smith as Hedda Gabler

Sheridan Smith signs up for Mr Stink

Gavin and Stacey star Sheridan Smith has joined the cast of BBC1's adaptation of David Walliams's book Mr Stink.

Salman Rushdie’s memoir of the fatwa years is ‘like nothing that has ever been written’

Memoir, by Joseph Anton

Where has this talent been hiding?

DVD: Snow White and the Hunstman (Universal)

This year's second live-action version of Snow White re-imagines the fairy tale as a dark, rain-lashed, mud-spattered epic, full of siege engines, burning villages, and all sorts of borrowings from the work of Tolkien and C S Lewis.

Invisible Ink: No 143, Noel Langley

I came to Noel Langley via a Penguin paperback of Cage Me A Peacock, a hilarious satirical version of The Rape of Lucretia that required the publisher to reassure readers with the rider: "Written with such delicacy and cool assurance that I cannot imagine anyone taking offence." But Langley could be bitingly unsentimental too. He was born in 1911 in Durban, South Africa, and moved to the US, where he went on to become a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and director. But Peacock was banned in his place of birth (mind you, The Belles of St Trinian's was also banned there).

J K Rowling: The Curse of the Publisher's Hype

And so, this was it, the publishing event of the century: J K Rowling and the Publisher's Hype. The story had everything. The one million pre-orders. The profile in The New Yorker. The adulation! The vilification! You'd never guess that all Rowling did was write a book.

Grimm Tales for Young and Old By Philip Pullman

A master of crossover fiction presents a fine blend of old tales and new twists

Bookshops open early to launch JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy

Bookshops opened their doors early today for readers to get their hands on JK Rowling's first novel for adults.

'Big society' makes it into Brewer's Dictionary

Big society, Chipping Norton set, app and tablet are just some of the phrases to make it into the latest edition of the Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Siren call: Azealia Banks, first mermaid of hip-hop

Time for a sea change: The case for mermaids to replace vampires

The boy wizard has grown up and Twilight is ending – so we need a new mythical creature to go crazy for. Gillian Orr makes the case for water babes

The 10 Best children's book sets

Keep boredom at bay on long journeys or dull afternoons this summer with pages and pages of fiction, fantasy and fun

1. Edinburgh Zoo: Adult £15.50, child £11, edinburghzoo.org.uk - Home to the UK’s only giant pandas, this is the largest and most exciting wildlife attraction in Scotland.

The 10 Best city days out

Whether you fancy learning about the planets, pandas or the plague, Britain’s city’s offer great summer-holiday outings

Stanton says of Levy: 'You know you've got a good friend when you can go on a four-day adventure in the psycho community that is the Edinburgh Festival, get out of your mind on beer, comedy and sleeplessness, and drag her to a gig at 1.30am and still get on'

How We Met: Marianne Levy & Andy Stanton

Marianne Levy, 33

L’heure espagnole, ****; L’enfant et les sortileges *****, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, East Sussex

Ravel’s small, perfectly-formed oeuvre includes just two short operas, but the second, ‘L’enfant et les sortileges’, is a masterpiece.

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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee