‘I guess I’m just an old-fashioned person’: a potted history of Bill Clinton’s disastrous book tour

President-turned-thriller-writer Bill Clinton has put his foot firmly in his mouth as he seeks to promote his novel, The President is Missing. He has repeatedly misspoke when asked the inevitable questions about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky which overshadowed his time in the White House.  Even when the conversation moves away from that topic, Clinton…

Joanna Trollope receives apology after London Book Fair speaker says he’d like to ‘snog’ her

A speaker at the London Book Fair has apologised for his “crass and offensive” language after introducing Joanna Trollope as a woman he would like to “snog”. Tony Mulliken, chairman of the fair’s public relations firm, was condemned for making the “abhorrent” remark in front of an audience of writers and Trollope fans. Trollope was attending…

Alan Bennett on the Dorset literary salon where Iris Murdoch and a young Daniel Day Lewis were visitors

When Janet Stone and her husband, the engraver and painter Reynolds Stone, married in 1938, their Dorset home became a getaway for everyone from Iris Murdoch to a young Daniel Day-Lewis, as Alan Bennett explains John and Myfanwy Piper; Reynolds and Janet Stone; Geoffrey and Jane Grigson; Edward Sackville-West and Desmond Shawe-Taylor: couples whose houses…

‘A loss which can never diminish’: Why Virginia Woolf remains one of literature’s most alluring writers

Virginia Woolf, so today’s Google Doogle tells us, would have turned 136 today. It’s somewhat of an arbitrary celebration – not least because Woolf famously took her own life at 59 – but the point remains that she is one of British literature’s most indelible figures. Woolf, for the uninitiated, helped to define the modernist…

Ursula K. Le Guin, best-selling science fiction author of Earthsea books, dies aged 88

Ursula K. Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, has died at 88. Le Guin died suddenly and peacefully Monday at her home in Portland, Oregon, after several weeks of health concerns, her son, Theo Downes-Le Guin said Tuesday. «She left an extraordinary legacy as an…

Sir Anthony Beevor slams Ukraine’s ‘preposterous’ ban on Stalingrad book

Military historian Sir Anthony Beevor is urging politicians to fight censorship after one of his books was banned in Ukraine.  The 1998 bestseller Stalingrad was barred for import last week alongside 24 other books for being «anti-Ukrainian». The accusation was levelled at Beevor’s examination of the Second World War battle due to passages about Ukrainian militias slaughtering…

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