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Margaret Atwood, photographed by Kate Peters at the Royal Over-Seas League Club, London in October
Margaret Atwood: “Ooooh! Are we going to talk about dying?”
By Erica Wagner - 31 October 14:00

The Canadian author reflects on ageing, generational inequality, reworking Shakespeare and writing stories that no one will read for a century.

Red terror: Stalin combined "sociopathic tendencies and exceptional diligence and resolve". Getty Images
Ordinary boy to arch-dictator: Stalin and the power of absolute conviction
By Lucy Hughes-Hallett - 31 October 14:00

Stalin emerges from Stephen Kotkin’s book as that most frightening of figures – a man of absolute conviction.

Detail from Girl Kneeling on a Red Cushion (1913) by Egon Schiele
Provocations to desire: Craig Raine delights in the nudes of Egon Schiele
By Craig Raine - 31 October 14:00

Egon Schiele is candidly pornographic – but his obsession with anatomy tells the story of an artistic struggle.

In the Frame: New Full On Lemon Extreme
By Tom Humberstone - 31 October 11:25

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

Why Ayn Rand is still relevant (and dangerous)
By Darryl Cunningham - 31 October 10:38

Hers is the spirit of the age: the age of selfishness. An age of greed, financial crime, and indifference to the poor, sick, and disabled.

Family values: the cast of Citizen Khan
What would Tony Hancock make of Neville’s Island and the muezzin app?
By Mark Lawson - 30 October 16:47

Mark Lawson’s weekly Critics Notes.

Desperate: James Nesbitt as Tony in episode two of The Missing. Photo: BBC Pictures
Vanishing interest: The Missing is ambitious but ultimately cheesy
By Rachel Cooke - 30 October 16:37

The plot reared up and hissed like a snake. Improbabilities. Coincidences. Unlikely connections. A frenzied cheesiness suddenly infected the story­telling.

School's out: a summer camp in Wisconsin. Photo: Flickr/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
I enjoyed working for the adult summer camp, but I drew the line at the shooting range
By Suzanne Moore - 30 October 16:13

Suzanne Moore’s weekly column, Telling Tales. 

Primal fear: Samuel (Noah Wiseman) in psychological drama The Badabook
If you’re feeling sinister: this season’s crop of Halloween horrors
By Ryan Gilbey - 30 October 15:35

Ryan Gilbey is chilled by new releases The Badabook, Annabelle and It Follows.

Messing around: Captain Beastlie in Lucy Coat's gloriously squalid story. Image: © Chris Mould 2014
It’s a kind of magic: the best children’s books for autumn
By Amanda Craig - 30 October 11:27

From Judith Kerr’s The Crocodile Under the Bed to a Psammead sequel, there are plenty of new titles to delight all ages this season, writes Amanda Craig. 

Ruthless, businesslike and pragmatic: detail of painting of Thomas Cromwell, c 1530. Photo: Getty
Behind the Mantel: in search of the real Thomas Cromwell
By Suzannah Lipscomb - 30 October 9:00

To capitalise on the success of Wolf Hall or perhaps to offer an accurate historical account of Cromwell, there have been four recent or reissued biographies of Henry VIII’s first minister. Borman’s narrative adds a fifth.

To the victor the spoils: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer after the Wimbledon 2014 final. Photo: Getty
Sometimes, the best of sport can find eternal life
By Ed Smith - 30 October 9:00

Ed Smith’s Left Field column. 

Post-crash solutions: Ford's latest crash test technology, March 2014. Photo: Getty
Crash test dummies: a call for bold economic reform
By Felix Martin - 30 October 9:00

When it comes to solutions to our post-crisis problems, Martin Wolf argues, the first step is to jettison the straitjacket of mainstream economics – and this he proceeds to do.

Flashback: Birmingham Library in the 1970s. Photo: Getty
Why Gillian Wearing made a statue of two single mothers
By William Cook - 30 October 9:00

Her sculpture depicts two sisters, Roma and Emma Jones (who, like Wearing, were born in Birmingham), and their sons. It has attracted local interest, as well as complaints from fathers and the far right.

This Halloween, ditch the jelly worms and eat the Wicca way
By Felicity Cloake - 30 October 9:00

Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen, “a practical guide to food magic”, promises, rather thrillingly, that from now on, every “munch of celery will resonate with new meaning”. 

Power of the popster: Iggy still thrills. Photo: Soren Andersson/AFP/Getty Images
Snap, crackle and Pop: the eloquence of Iggy
By Antonia Quirke - 30 October 9:00

Antonia Quirke on radio.

Power games: Obama addresses US troops in Kabul, May 2014. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Altered states: Henry Kissinger’s scathing take-down of Obama
By John Bew - 30 October 9:00

Under the surface of World Order is a searing critique of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. While Obama has embraced the label of “realist”, this is not a realism that Kissinger recognises.

“I am a fat daddy”: The Apprentice blog series 10, episode 4
By Anoosh Chakelian - 30 October 8:51

Videos made by the candidates fail to go viral.

Hospitality sweet: corporate boxes at Villa park football ground. Photo: Getty
Goodbye pies and fights: how football became the game of the middle classes
By Hunter Davies - 29 October 15:00

When the Prem began 20 years ago, and stadiums became all-seaters, with the season tickets costing a fortune, many of the working classes and twentysomething lads were excluded, unable to pay the prices.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is one of the few games to create a richer story in order to have longer gameplay.
When it comes to video games, how long is too long?
By Phil Hartup - 28 October 15:07

Should a game provide “value for money” and pad out its story with as many tedious hours of fetching things as possible, or is there merit in a short, sharp ending?

Tim Clare says that the stage is the only place where he's felt normal.
“I can have a panic attack eating a piece of toast”: Standup poet Tim Clare on living with anxiety
By Aoife Moriarty - 28 October 14:25

What should you do when anxiety takes control of your life? Tim Clare’s new show tells us how to be kind to ourselves.

Colin Firth in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man”, one of the best gay movies ever made.
Why does Hollywood make so few good gay movies?
By Sam Moore - 28 October 12:42

In 2014, it shouldn’t be cutting edge to see a Hollywood movie that features a fair representation of gay people.

Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Hoss in Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix”.
The digital world hasn’t saved us from being hoaxed – if anything, it has made it more likely
By Ryan Gilbey - 27 October 15:10

Meanwhile, the suspension of disbelief is getting harder and harder to pull off.

Hammering: England playing San Marino on 9 October. Photo: Getty
Which is better – watching football in the flesh or on the telly?
By Hunter Davies - 27 October 10:13

Hunter Davies’s weekly column, The Fan. 

More dynamite: Naomi Klein photographed for the New Statesman, October 2014. Photo: Kalpesh Lathigra
Naomi Klein: “I view free-market ideology as a cover story for greed”
By Sophie McBain - 24 October 17:39

The Canadian author and social activist on parenthood, people power and why climate change could be the ultimate opportunity for the left.

Lovecraft peopled his mythical realms with slippery, palpitating cretaures to escape a worse prospect – a human world. Illustration by Sean Phillips
Weird realism: John Gray on the moral universe of H P Lovecraft
By John Gray - 24 October 17:01

The weird realism that runs through Lovecraft’s writings undermines any belief system – religious or humanist – in which the human mind is the centre of the universe.

Chloe Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley in action.
Introducing the Woman-Child: the continuing death of adulthood in American culture
By Lisa Schwarzbaum - 24 October 14:58

The cinema of amusing male arrested development has been a familiar subgenre for some time, but recent releases demonstrate that there’s gold to be found in femme floundering.

Photo: James Cridland/Flickr
"The Berries": a new poem by Kathleen Jamie
By Kathleen Jamie - 24 October 11:55

When she came for me
through the ford, came for me
through running water
I was oxter-deep in a bramble-grove
glutting on wild fruit. Soon

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