Tom Hanks at his office in Santa Monica, California. Photograph: Jake Michaels/The New York Times

Lovely, lovely Tom Hanks – whom only a heel could dislike – has just published his first collection of short stories. If we know anything about Hanks (...)

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump jeers the media in front a crowd of supporters in July  in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photograph:  John Moore/Getty Images

Richard Ford My old mentor and friend Shelby Foote used to say that a person couldn’t understand the US without understanding the American civil wa(...)

Past winner Howard Jacobson is joint-favourite to win this year’s Man Booker Prize as the shortlist was announced today, featuring US authors for the first time. Photograph: Andrew Testa/The New York Times

Past winner Howard Jacobson is joint-favourite to win this year’s Man Booker Prize as the shortlist was announced today, featuring US authors for t(...)