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Books & Lit

Paperback review: Twirlymen, By Amol Rajan

If you don't know your flipper from your Chinaman, this entertaining and informative history of spin bowling will put you right.

Poem of the week: Actaeon by George Szirtes

A version of the Greek myth, refocused through the eyes of an ageing 21st-century man, retells the story suggestively slant From Victorian times at least, women writers have been retelling classical myths and folktales from a woman-centred or feminist p

The Divine Comedy by Dante, translated by Clive James - review

Clive James's translation of Dante is an impressive feat Poets can't help themselves from translating Dante, even if they are only going to do small chunks, as Byron did, having a stab at Francesca of Rimini's speech from the fifth canto of the Inferno

New Sandman: Neil Gaiman returns to Vertigo comics

The Sandman is returning to Vertigo comics under the influence of writer Neil Gaiman.

Neil Gaiman: prepare yourselves - I'm taking over the Guardian Books site

I'm in charge of the Guardian Books site for one day only - the power's already going to my head Hullo world. Even as I write this the power is starting to go to my head. I get to edit the Guardian Books site for a day. This is a position of daunting,

Memoirist Marie Calloway:

How a 23-year-old author shattered taboos surrounding sexuality in print -- and freaked out the critics

AM Homes, winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction, interview

The American author on her reputation as a controversial writer and why she's in favour of an all-female book prize.

Hilary Mantel reveals dislike of Dickens

Charles Dickens is 'crass', 'moralising', and full of 'galumphing humour', Hilary Mantel has claimed.

The Documentary: Egypt

Episode 6/6. Egypt has one of the world’s fastest-growing populations; already 90-million strong, it’s growing by over a million each year and around half of that population is under the age of 25. It was Egypt’s youth who were at the forefront of t

Paperback review: I Am an Executioner, By Rajesh Parameswaran

This collection of nine short stories is subtitled "Love Stories" - but the loves are of unexpected kinds.