Among the best short story writers (top row): John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Raymond Carver; (Bottom row): Ron Rash, Flannery O’Connor and Richard Ford

And the rocket’s red glare. The bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there From The Star Spangled Banner (1814)(...)

Author: John Updike. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Even at its finest, biography is a difficult enterprise; claims of being revelatory and insightful may often turn out to be another way of settling a (...)

Arguably the finest work by the great Italian innovator Luigi Pirandello is his absurdist satire Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921). It is v(...)

Colum McCann at Sandymount, Dublin in 2011. New York, however, is where he wants to live now. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘You could write about this fat bastard in Central Park,” Colum McCann laughs down the phone, enthused by the idea (his) of talking about his n(...)