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.

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Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
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Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
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Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
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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
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices