The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka (1915) Gregor Samsa’s unusual transformation from human to giant bug didn’t go down well with the Fascists and was ba(...)

People queue to receive ballot papers during the referendum on the status of the Donetsk region in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol yesterday. Photograph: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Dmitry Pavlov stopped outside a polling station in central Donetsk, made no move to go in and pointed to the face on his T-shirt in explanation.“I put(...)

One of the most memorable unhinged characters in contemporary Irish fiction is Francis Brady, the troubled child narrator of Pat McCabe’s The Butcher Boy
Mad men and women in fiction
  • Books
  • May 2, 2014, 01:27

Reviewed by Eileen Battersby in The Irish Times this Saturday, Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto (Viking, £14.99) is a near-perfect account of a p(...)

Among writers in Spanish only Cervantes has sold more books than Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez. Photograph: Reuters

With the death of Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, the world of literature has lost one of those rare writers who was revered by critic(...)

2007: Garcia Marquez  poses with a special edition of his most famous book ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

Few writers have produced novels that are acknowledged as masterpieces not only in their own countries but around the world. Fewer still can be(...)

The Double

Simon James (played by Jesse Eisenberg in a career best, surely?) is a socially awkward, cripplingly polite office wonk, whose innovations at work (...)

1. “Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.” George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871) 2. “All happy f(...)

Peru’s president Ollanta Humala lays a wreath during a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem this month. Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

A 110-year-old woman believed to be the oldest survivor of the Holocaust and who endured the ordeal partly through her passion for music, has d(...)

Some 112 paintings by Berlin artist Lutz Friedel are currently on display at the new state parliament in Potsdam, Germany. Amongst the pictures are portraits of former German Chancellors Helmut Schmidt and Konrad Adenauer, but also of dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler and Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Photograph: EPA

The opening of the new state parliament in Brandenburg, outside Berlin, has been overshadowed by a row over a new portrait of history’s most notorious(...)

Stephen Johnson: award-winning BBC broadcaster.

“Was he an animal, that music could move him so?” This line from Franz Kafka’s novel Metamorphosis sees its protagonist, a man who has transformed (...)