Glossing over: women’s magazines are “as intent as the average sexist in the street at making women feel bad”
Germaine Greer: the failures of the new feminism
By Germaine Greer - 14 May 10:00

“Feminism in Britain has had two strands: as a media phenomenon and as an academic discipline. The vast realm of reality that lies between remains unaffected by either.”

More than a number: Benjamin argues that we can't escape the facts of ageing. Photo: Muir Vidler
Marina Benjamin: what it means to be a woman aged 50
By Marina Benjamin - 13 May 10:30

As she prepares for her 50th birthday, the author and journalist reflects on what it means to be “middle-aged” – and on a journey she knows never ends well.

Illustration: Jackson Rees
It took me years to get to know Manchester – now I miss the feeling of being lost there
By Will Self - 08 May 13:06

In the early part of the last decade Manchester became the hot spot for Ageing Labour’s take on urban regeneration.

Photo: Thomas Dworzak/Magnum Photos
“Old Men Around Town”: a short story by Lydia Davis
By Lydia Davis - 08 May 10:00

A new short story by the Man Booker International winner.

Image: © Jillian Tamaki, 2014
Submarine dreams: Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas
By Margaret Drabble - 08 May 10:00

The classic sci-fi novel is more than a ripping yarn – it anticipated the ecology movement and shaped the French avant-garde.

Comic timings: Chaplin as Calvero in the 1952 film Limelight. Photo: Magnum
Tears of a clown: Peter Ackroyd’s biography of Charlie Chaplin
By Tom Shone - 08 May 10:00

Chaplin's previously unpublished novella and a new biography show the makings of his melancholy genius

Dave Eggers: The long ride to Riyadh
By Dave Eggers - 07 May 11:30

A tense taxi journey across the Saudi desert makes the author consider the folly of nationality.

Judging John Updike

As Adam Begley’s new biography of Updike is published, David Baddiel and Jeffrey Meyers offer contrasting views of America’s literary Everyman.

Detail from a cartoon by Jamie Hewlett, creator of Tank Girl
Thought bubbles: Comics Unmasked at the British Library
By Andrew Harrison - 01 May 17:28

From the Beano to Joe Sacco’s Palestine, the library’s major summer exhibition is impressive in its scope. 

Heatwave 1971: Naughtie's novel The Madness of July is set over an airless 1970s London summer. Photo: Getty
Highland flings: on two new novels by the “Tartan Beebists”, James Naughtie and Kirsty Wark
By Helen Lewis - 30 April 10:00

The debut novels of two Tartan Beebists, whose hearts clearly belong in Scotland despite years of working in Westminster.

Image: Laura Carlin
How John Clare captured the peasants' calendar
By Adam Foulds - 30 April 10:00

Adam Foulds on a vanished world of natural wonders and cyclical labour.

Van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (1433), long supposed to be a self-portrait
Man in the mirror: The Self Portrait by James Hall
By Andrew Marr - 30 April 10:00

A new book examines the cultural history of canvases that have the artist as their subject.

Image: Laura Carlin
“We should not hold current states accountable for what happened in the distant past”
By Alexander McCall Smith - 30 April 10:00

But consigning events to history should not preclude the need for apology for ancient wrongs: they can help heal rifts. 

Helen on the walls of Troy, depicted in an 18th century engraving. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Slut-shaming Helen of Troy
By Emily Wilson - 29 April 9:06

If we blame her for the Trojan War, what does it say about us?

French connection: Samuel Beckett photographed in Paris, 1960. He met Joyce on his first visit to France in 1928. Photo: Lufti Ozkok/Rex/Sipa
Portrait of the artist as a young fan: Echo’s Bones by Samuel Beckett
By John Banville - 28 April 17:00

A previously unpublished novella shows the playwright struggling to escape the influence of Joyce. 

Cat among the pigeons: from A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld
Robots and runaways: the best children’s books this season
By Amanda Craig - 28 April 15:00

Amanda Craig rounds up the best new offerings for young people.

Clive James being filmed for the NS at his home in Cambridge.
Clive James on poetry, family and illness: “I’m a bit terrified, this really is the mark of the end”
By Philip Maughan - 28 April 12:15

The 74-year-old poet and broadcaster, who is terminally ill, reads a new poem “Driftwood Houses” and reflects on his career, family and the power of “simple, ordinary things”.

Two children sitting at workstations in 1963. Photo: Getty
Why do our offices make us so miserable?
By Juliet Lapidos - 23 April 13:50

The unhappy history of the workplace.

Northern Northanger: McDermid updates the setting from Bath to Edinburgh. Photo: Getty
Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey and the struggle to breathe new life into Jane Austen
By John Mullan - 22 April 15:49

In the next instalment of the “Austen Project”, the Scottish crime writer gives her modern-day take on the novel formerly known as Susan.

Drive la France: a taxi driver in Paris in 1929. Photo: Getty
Home and away: The Prince’s Boy by Paul Bailey and Other People’s Countries by Patrick McGuinness
By Leo Robson - 22 April 15:00

Two new novels, about a Romanian in Paris in the 1920s and a Belgian living near the French border respectively, are examinations of nationality and identity.

 A visitor views a digital representation of the human genomeat the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Photo: Getty
Life itself is encrypted – but can you find the Easter eggs?
By Adam Rutherford - 22 April 13:03

Art and science both had a long history of secret codes hidden in plain sight. Adam Rutherford goes on the hunt.

Chile spring: an installation of 10,000  clay flowers by the Chilean artist Fernando Casasempere at Somerset House in London, 2012. Photo: Getty
Flowers from beyond the grave: The Insufferable Gaucho by Roberto Bolaño
By Ollie Brock - 22 April 12:00

Bolaño’s books are still appearing and we have not finished understanding them. 

Hilary Mantel: “I do think the level of public debate is debased”
By Erica Wagner - 21 April 9:04

The double Man Booker-winning novelist Hilary Mantel on writing for the stage, finishing her Tudor trilogy – and the perils of being a woman in the public eye.

Portrait of Josef Stalin (1933) by Isaak Izrailevich. Image: Bridgeman Art Library
H G Wells: “It seems to me that I am more to the Left than you, Mr Stalin”
By H G Wells - 18 April 9:00

In 1934, Wells arrived in Moscow to meet a group of Soviet writers. While there Stalin granted him an interview. 

Forster is an elusive presence in Galgut's fiction. Photo: Cecil Beaton/Conde Nast/Archive/Corbis
A web of race and class: Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut
By Hannah Rosefield - 17 April 10:00

Most of the writer’s novels are set in modern South Africa; this life of E M Forster is an unlikely change of direction.

This modest man: Oakeshott, pictured at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, 1933. Photo: Getty
Michael Oakeshott, conservative thinker who went beyond politics
By Jesse Norman - 17 April 10:00

An unassuming figure little known in life but hailed after his death as “perhaps the most original political philosopher of this century”.

Sajid Javid arriving at No 10 after being appointed as Culture Secretary. Photo: Getty
Sajid Javid and the left, the “extermination” of grammar schools and Pamuk in Oxford
By Jason Cowley - 16 April 13:00

The response of some Labour MPs to Javid’s promotion was idiotic.

Janet Mock in June 2013. Photo: Getty
Janet Mock: “Who will ever love you if you tell the truth?”
By Juliet Jacques - 16 April 8:52

Juliet Jacques talk to US journalist Janet Mock about her book Redefining Realness.

Teenagers at an Alicia Keys concert wave their phones in the air. Photo:Getty
Stop worrying: teenagers are not internet-addled cyborgs with overdeveloped thumbs
By Helen Lewis - 15 April 9:15

. . .  in fact, they are probably better at navigating a world of smartphones and social networks than we crusties aged 20 and over.