The duchess of Cornwall speaks at the awards dinner for the 2014 Man Booker Prize at the Guildhall in London, on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters

THE OPENING LINES 1. “He should have seen it coming.” 2. “Two former lovers of Molly Lane stood waiting outside the crematorium chapel with(...)

Ian McEwan: efficiently infiltrates the legal world and its hierarchy of clever debate conducted upon the chessboard of the law, but his novel is knowing and corny. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Ironically the most telling sentence in Ian McEwan’s slight, TV-drama-like new novel comes in the form of a casual observation made by the central cha(...)

The Shooting Party Anton Chekhov (1884) A master playwright, dramaturge and short story writer, Chekhov veered into longer form territory with nove(...)

Martin Amis: holding a mirror up to the death camps. Photograph: Alan Betson

In Experience, his unexpectedly tender memoir published in 2000, the English writer Martin Amis went some way towards explaining his life and, more im(...)

 Ian McEwan: ‘I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t be pleased at being reminded that their proscription against blood transfusions wastes many lives.’ Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

Ian McEwan doesn’t really do jokes. In interviews he is focused, reflective and sombre, reacting to journalists’ attempts at levity with an express(...)

Illustration: v0lha via Getty Images

To date in this series we have explored the constituent elements of fiction-writing, from plot, tone and language to voice, setting and characters.(...)

 Joseph O’Connor:  his story of a rock band’s rise from Thatcher-era London to the Hollywood Bowl has  been shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. Photograph: Eric Luke

Joseph O’Connor’s story of a rock band’s rise from Thatcher-era London to the Hollywood Bowl and John Niven’s tale of a debauched Irish novelist ha(...)

New chapter: Joanna Walsh’s bookmarks of feted women writers

‘I don’t love women writers enough to teach them. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real-g(...)

Israeli soldiers arrest two Palestinian boys during clashes after Palestinians reportedly tried to reach Al tour area for a snowball fight near the Jewish settlement of Brakha, near Nablus, West Bank, last week. Seven Palestinians were reportedly arrested and five wounded. Phorograph: EPA/Alaa Badarneh
US academics back Israel boycott
  • US
  • December 17, 2013, 20:20

A prestigious US academic body has joined a growing movement to boycott Israel in protest at its treatment of Palestinians, in a move both welcomed an(...)

You win: Patrick Freyne cedes victory to Dawn O’Porter

COLUM McCANN ‘I play Scrabble in international Scrabble tournaments,” says Colum McCann.“Really?” I ask.“No. I haven’t played for four or five years.”(...)