Saul Bellow

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October 2001: VS Naipaul, who was born of Indian ancestry in Trinidad, went to Oxford University on a scholarship and lived the rest of his life in England. As a novelist he exempted neither coloniser nor colonised from his scrutiny. Photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

VS Naipaul, the Nobel laureate who documented the migrations of peoples, the unravelling of the British Empire, the ironies of exile and the clash bet(...)

Author Philip Roth in New York in September 15th, 2010. Photograph: Eric Thayer/Reuters

Philip Roth, who died on Tuesday at the age of 85, was a prolific, protean and often blackly comic novelist who was a pre-eminent figure in 20th centu(...)

Sissy Spacek in ‘Carrie’

Stephen King is not the most-adapted author in history. It just feels that way. The International Movie Database lists a staggering 238 credits, but t(...)

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)(...)

Michael Winterbottom’s ‘9 Songs’, which featured what is thought to be cinema’s first unsimulated and visible  penetrative sex

I’m generally left a bit cold by art with no sex in it. Not that every work of art need preoccupy itself with meditations on the subject or be confine(...)

In his new book, MP Douglas Carswell argues that people want a small state over which they can exercise round-the-clock democratic mastership through some kind of digitised hive mind. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Raised in the Depression, the novelist and Nobel laureate Saul Bellow never forgot the bond between immiserated Americans and their posh, semi-foreign(...)

Barack  Obama: the thing that brings people together to have the courage to take action  is not just that they care about the same issue, it’s that they have shared stories. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Q: These books that you gave to your daughter Malia on the Kindle, what were they? Some of your favourites? A: I think some of them were sort of th(...)

Barack Obama: the role of stories to unify – as opposed to divide, to engage rather than to marginalise – is more important than ever. Photograph: Damon Winter/The New York Times

Last Friday, seven days before his departure from the White House, Obama sat down in the Oval Office and talked about the indispensable role that boo(...)

The media gathered beneath the US flag at a Hillary Clinton event in New York on election night. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

It’s over and nobody really won because the United States has lost so much dignity, honour, respect and hope – qualities that matter more than wealth.(...)

Playwright Arthur Miller with wife Marilyn Monroe. File photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

Anyone fortunate enough to have met dramatist Arthur Miller, who was born 100 years ago today in Harlem, New York, invariably agrees he was a warm,(...)

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