The unlikely rise of the bestselling children’s author.
Like the rebel theologian, we believe in the perfectibility of mankind, the ability of people to make the right choices, do good and make things better.
If I abandon my diary for only a few days, it scares me how much I struggle to fill in the gaps. Our memories so quickly fail us.
Your festive dose of gossip from around Westminster.
The veteran Bennite organiser on Brexit, Gramsci, the Soviet Union and planning for “when Jeremy and I are both dead”.
The explosion on Pan Am Flight 103 ripped the aircraft apart and the debris plummeted on to the roofs of the town.
I started just as Obama became president of the US and thought I was just passing through, on my way to the next challenge.
Two years ago, I got an email from a commissioning editor asking if I felt like working my way through Delia’s How to Cook and writing about the results.
David Miliband spent another year persistently refusing to move back to Britain and found a new centrist party.
No indisputable evidence exists for a “real” King Arthur, but, fictional or not, Britain has always needed him.
“Before your LSD session, read Siddartha and Steppenwolf," advised Timothy Leary.
A new short story by Kate Atkinson.
One man’s attempt to catch every second of Christian Marclay’s astonishing 24-hour film installation, The Clock.
She has written hits for Rihanna, Cher and Christina Aguilera – and she's been dropped by a series of major labels. Is it finally time for LP?
In garages and sheds, a dedicated band of amateurs is trying to answer the biggest question in energy: whether controlled nuclear fusion can power the world.
From Alpine tunnels to the Zambian border, seeing the world by train brings adventure, intriguing company – and a deep sense of contentment
In their correspondence, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin displayed the combination of realpolitik, illusion and hubris that is essential for really creative diplomacy.
From gammon to centrist parties, 2018 has been a rollercoaster from start to finish. And, quite frankly, we’re glad to get off.
In the past five years, 450 GP practices have closed – and patients suffer when their doctors don’t truly know them.
In 2018, despite the prompting of President Macron, the EU missed a crucial window for reform. Can it heal its fractures to create a new European republic?
A winter wood reveals the bones of the landscape it grows upon, the geographical contours of slopes, gullies and hollows.
Their performance showed me that sincerity always beats irony.
Watching Adrian Lester on stage, I realised that there was such a thing as transcendent performance.
It’s one long performance, one long evening shading into brilliant night.
I was finishing the first draft of my second novel and hoping to see something that might improve the mess on the page.
When I met the late JG Ballard for the first time, around 20 years ago in a Covent Garden restaurant, I found that he embodied everything I admired in his work.
The impact of the piece, on me and on everyone else in the hall that night, was overwhelming.
I left the Albers retrospective feeling a mixture of triumph and rage.
I could see that he was moved by the story, perhaps uncomfortably so.
Beardsley’s exquisite line drawings opened my eyes to art.
I felt I was entering the adult world.
A whole gang of us had gone to 333 in Old Street check out the music – but my friend Nick had other plans.
It was 1965; I was a 16-year-old schoolboy besotted by classical music but only, so far, on record.
It didn’t make me a rock convert: but it hooked me on live music.
“I’m trans,” I told a friend on the steps outside, after one of those dazzling nights.
I was 12 when I asked my parents if I could stay up late to watch Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible on television. It was the start of a lifelong fascination with Russia.
I still remember it, aged six, right down to the green carpet and purple seats.
The exhibition turned me from a grumpy old man into a weeping 15-year-old boy.
I met a great artist for the first time when I was 19, in 1966, Alfred Hitchcock came to speak at Cambridge University.
I became the writer I wanted to be writing from a city that reacted the quickest and smartest to the lurid poetics of the Sex Pistols.
I finally met the hero of my youth, Charles Aznavour, at 57. He didn’t disappoint.
A new poem by Helen Mort
From wild beasts to princesses.
Having lived in Fair Isle, the most remote inhabited island in Britain, and edited the magazine Shetland Life, Tallack understands islands.
Oates’s new novel is a chilling and eerie read.
Through the story of her grandmother’s rural Home Counties pub, Laura Thompson offers us a lyrical portrait of a fast-vanishing way of life.
The country’s Belt and Road programme is less a revolution than a reversion to a previous state.
Tim Clark's book makes a subtle but very important point: wouldn’t it be better to learn about your parents’ or your extended family’s life stories while they were living?
An image of imperial hubris or an environmental allegory?
From Killing Eve to A Very English Scandal.
Forest magic, Angelina and the Queen of Scots.
From Agatha Christie to, er, Anne Widdecombe.
From Mary Poppins Returns to Holmes and Watson.
The streaming service is trying out the Hallmark strategy – pumping out intentionally average festive films in absurdly high quantities.
I break songs down into small morsels, getting hooked by tiny details, passing moments that offer fleeting glimpses of heaven.
I get a rush of gratitude that I was a teenager when we had the mindless proletarian jollity of Slade and Wizzard.
People think they know about comas but they don’t. It’s not like the films.
Hit hard by nouvelle cuisine and the financial crash, seasonal trade here isn’t what it once was.
My gratitude to my hosts-cum-landlords knows no bounds.
Season’s greetings, bottle of wine, will you still need me, will you still read me, when I tell you what the season has provided so far?
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