The latest on books and the arts
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.

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. 

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.