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.

The 10 best children's cookbooks

It's never too early to learn your way around a kitchen. Here's where to find the top recipes to get them started.

How We Met: Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini

'Watching a game of Quidditch with the man who put it on the map was surreal'

My life in travel: Rageh Omaar

'On safari in Kruger National Park, we ate breakfast beside a pod of hippos'

Review: Poison, By Sarah Pinborough

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to bed we go

Travel Agenda

From mapping Manhattan and California cool to leather luggage

Judi Dench (Alice Liddell Hargreaves) and Ben Whishaw (Peter Llewelyn Davies) in Peter and Alice

First night: Peter and Alice at the Noel Coward Theatre is a rare Grandage dud

Peter and Alice seemed to have everything going for it. It marks the reunion of director Michael Grandage and the three-times Oscar-nominated author, John Logan, with whom he had such a success on both sides of the Atlantic with Red, the latter's play about Mark Rothko. It mouthwateringly deposits Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw on the same stage (on screen, they have appeared together as M and Q and in the Logan-scripted Skyfall). And, last but not least, the play kicks off from a premise that yammers with potential.

Chinua Achebe writing in his office at Brown University in 2012

Chinua Achebe: Novelist and dissident whose work reclaimed Africa's history

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author and dissident who has died at the age of 82, learnt early in life that words can lead to a lot of pain. It happened when he was at secondary school in colonial Nigeria. Turning to a fellow pupil, he asked in his native Igbo language: ''Nyefe M ncha ahu'' [pass me the soap]. For not using English, Achebe's English headmaster gave him a beating he remembered all his life.

Michael Morpurgo is investigating the state of child literacy

War Horse author Michael Morpurgo writes new play about WW1 Christmas truce

War Horse author Michael Morpurgo has written a new play about the Christmas truce of the First World War.

Chinua Achebe writing in his office at Brown University in 2012

'Father of modern African literature' Achebe, 82, dies after short illness

Chinua Achebe, described as the “father of modern African literature” who inspired generations of writers across the continent, has died at the age of 82. 

Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds stars of The Croods

The Croods stars Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds cringe at the sound of their own voices

They've both helped make millions at the box office and are two of Hollywood's most sought after talents, but The Croods voice stars Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone say they still get self-conscious hearing themselves on film.

Why are educationists so afraid of cultural excellence?

We should lead children to appreciate the finest in literature, music and all the arts

Sarah Lamb in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Opera House, London

In The Royal Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a late switch of heroines makes less difference than you’d think. On opening night, Sarah Lamb stepped in for an indisposed Lauren Cuthbertson – a dancer who has suffered more than her share of illness, missing several high-profile performances in the past few months. Lamb is a perky Alice, but Christopher Wheeldon’s 2011 ballet is more about dazzling illusions than about his heroine.

My life in travel: Anthony Horowitz

'It's about everyday life, not monuments'

Actress Emma Watson has turned down the role of Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh's new film

She shan't go to the ball: Emma Watson turns down role in Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella

The slipper doesn't fit for Emma Watson who has turned down the title role in Kenneth Branagh’s new film Cinderella.

Goodbye Kansas: James Franco charms the locals in Oz the Great and Powerful

Film review: Oz the Great and Powerful - You thought the Wizard should be left alone? Step this way …

So, how did Oz gets its Wizard? This question has never exercised me for more than a nanosecond, but as redundant as Oz the Great and Powerful might seem, this Disney prequel turns out to be something of a classic: a family friendly fantasy which delivers as an affectionate prologue to The Wizard of Oz, that works just as well as a spectacular, neatly structured stand-alone adventure. It's directed by Sam Raimi, who once again brings irresistible enthusiasm to cartoonish genre entertainment, but it could also pass for the best Tim Burton film in a long time, and the best Terry Gilliam film in even longer.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform