George Eliot

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Chantal Ackerman behind the camera in 1980. Photogaph:   Laszlo Ruszka/ INA/Getty Images

Sadly, when compiling a list of 10 great films by women, a bit more digging is required than would be necessary if putting together an equivalent list(...)

In a Word . . .

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a bestseller novel. Yes, I know, it’s hard for a man to do that these days. I could use a woman’s name. Like(...)

Louie Bennett. She kept the union she founded independent of Liberty Hall and male unions on the basis that women’s concerns would always take second place in male-dominated unions.

Louie Bennett, who was born 150 years ago on January 7th, was well known in 20th-century Ireland as a feminist, trade unionist and journalist but it w(...)

After another 10 years of digital encroachment and data collection, the hidden self is now fully exposed. It is a valuable resource that is harvest(...)

Back row, left to right, Stig Abell, Juno Dawson, Kit de Waal, Syima Aslam, with (front row left to right) Mariella Frostrup and Alexander McCall Smith, the BBC-assembled panel who chose a new BBC list of 100 important  novels that shaped our world. Photograph: David Emery/BBC/PA Wire

Pick a side. Obviously, the BBC’s list of “100 Novels that Shaped Our World” is terrible. All such lists are terrible. Each one generates complaints (...)

So rewarding: a marathon reading of Ulysses at UCLA in 2002. Photograph: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty

“I’ve never finished Proust or Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities or even The Brothers Karamazov,” Zadie Smith told the Guardian last week. I’m (...)

For the Love of Art: Dreams, by Frederic William Burton. Photograph courtesy of Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund.

In 2012 Frederic William Burton’s Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs, inspired by a story of doomed love in a medieval Danish b(...)

A love of storytelling: debut novelist Tony Tulathimutte

“In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in respect that it is private, it is a very vile life.” The first of many epigraphs in Tony (...)

Helene Hanff,  author of ‘84 Charing Cross Road’

The life of Helene Hanff, which began 100 years ago today in Philadelphia, was a masterclass in the fickleness of fame. It was dominated for decades(...)

Fintan O’Toole: “I thought perhaps JG Farrell might have been excluded on the basis that he was half-Irish, but so was Laurence Sterne, and Elizabeth Bowen, CS Lewis, Joyce Cary, Jonathan Swift and Iris Murdoch, none of whom was British, got in. Puzzling”

I was one of 82 foreigners enlisted for BBC Culture’s poll of the best 100 British novels. Each of us was asked to pick a top ten. Only half of mine (...)

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