Fiona Mozley’s book ‘Elmet’ has  made this year’s  Booker longlist.

What kind of novel makes a Booker longlist? Literary fiction is the bar, an increasingly wide bracket that can range from accessible to experimental. (...)

Daniel Craig: The other Bonds just  wore the suit. This one was scarily real. Photograph: Britta Pedersen

For decades the James Bond series has been the Rolls Royce of British cinema: deluxe film-making that maintains a reputation for excellence, while sim(...)

Poet and author Sylvia Plath: letters shed light on trubulent period in her life with Ted Hughes. Photograph: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead, unpublished letters reveal(...)

Madge Herron on the streets of Kentish Town. “Isn’t she wonderful,” a psychiatrist once said of the poet. “It would be a shame to cure her.”

Here is a memory of Donegal poet Madge Herron. We are walking to the tube station in Camden Town, her recalling how shortly after the second World (...)

Actor Niamh O’Rourke portrays  Countess Constance Markievicz at an Easter Rising centenary commemoration in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

It’s Easter Monday, and the pinnacle of the centenary celebrations, although like a good little pedant, I’m saving marking the occasion properly until(...)

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur: Paris’s motto – Latin for Tossed But Not Sunk – on the Eiffel Tower. Photograph: Reuters

In a week that has belonged to the events of Paris, there is often guilt in a radio presenter’s voice when a programme shifts to a lesser item. This m(...)

WC Fields’s dictum urging artists to avoid working with children and animals is widely known. It might then strike us as somewhat curious that cert(...)

A faltering biography of Ted Hughes
  • Books
  • October 10, 2015, 01:00

Near the beginning of Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life, Jonathan Bate reports that he frequently found himself asking, “How can someone so good be(...)

Although slightly off the beaten path, ‘First Editions’ is really worth a visit and the contents of the shop will delight book lovers of all types and ages. Photograph: Declan Clancy

Who collects books these days? “Mostly men in their 50s and upwards,” according to Allan Gregory the proprietor of ‘First Editions’ who specialises in(...)

Peadar King with Richard Murphy in Sri Lanka: a series of interviews with Murphy will be screened at the inaugural Inish festival on Inishbofin on Saturday evening.  Photograph: Dave Brandt

Democracy is alive and well on Irish offshore islands, if the tallies from last week’s referendum are anything to go by. Two of three Aran islands vot(...)