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British Library apologises for linking Ted Hughes to slave trade

The poet had been wrongly included among more than 300 figures whose collections were associated with wealth obtained from colonial violenceThe British Library has apologised to Carol Hughes, the widow of the former poet laureate Ted Hughes, after it linked him to the slave trade through a distant ancestor.Hughes’s name had been included on a spreadsheet...

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom: 'Ten years ago, no one talked about a cultural problem in comedy'

The writer-star has had a baby, lost a close friend and published a memoir in lockdown. She talks about the trouble with male comedy writers – and why she wants to make a sketch show all about the clitorisOn the day in April that Rachel Bloom finally took her newborn daughter home from the hospital, one of her best friends died. Her daughter had arrived...

Top 10 books about consent

From Thomas Hardy to Kristen Roupenian, literature offers a changing map of the treacherous terrain of sexual relationshipsWhen the floodgates of #MeToo opened in 2017, the conversation about sexual harassment and assault quickly detonated into a broader discussion of “bad dates” and “bad sex”. As pundits engaged in armchair analysis of non-consensual...

Rachel Bloom: 'Ten years ago, no one would have talked about a cultural problem in comedy'

The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writer-star has had a baby, lost a close friend and published a memoir in lockdown. She talks about the trouble with male comedy writers – and why she wants to make a sketch show all about the clitorisOn the day in April that Rachel Bloom finally took her newborn daughter home from the hospital, one of her best friends died....

Costa book awards: Susanna Clarke nominated for second novel after 16-year wait

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell author picked for Piranesi, alongside Denise Mina, Julian Barnes and the late Eavan Boland, in prizes for ‘enjoyable’ booksSixteen years after she published her debut, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke has made the shortlist for the Costa book awards for her second novel, the long-awaited Piranesi.The Costas...

Beatles biography One Two Three Four wins Baillie Gifford prize

Craig Brown wins prestigious award for nonfiction with book that judges say ‘has reinvented the art of biography’Craig Brown has won the Baillie Gifford prize, the UK’s top award for nonfiction, for One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time, a take on the band that judges said had “reinvented the art of biography”.A mix of history, diaries, autobiography,...

Ralph Steadman: 'We're really living in a hell of a year, aren't we?'

The outspoken artist talks about his new book arriving in an ‘absolutely weird’ year and why Trump remains ‘the worst person in our known history’When the Welsh artist Ralph Steadman picks up the phone, he sounds a bit paranoid.“It’s Friday the 13th, you know,” he says with a doomsday tone. Continue reading...

News and How to Use It by Alan Rusbridger review – an insider's appeal to sceptics

The former Guardian editor’s insights into journalism and how it must regain the public’s trust are perceptive and reflect a chaotic and messy business“Mummy, what is that man for?” was the question famously asked by a young girl at a rally addressed (at great length) by Gladstone. An analogous question occurred to me as I opened this book by the former...

Oxford Dictionaries: 2020 has too many Words of the Year to name just one

Instead, the OED says ‘a year that has left us speechless’ is best reflected by expanding its annual selection to a whole listFor the first time, the Oxford English Dictionary has chosen not to name a word of the year, describing 2020 as “a year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one single word”. Instead, from “unmute” to “mail-in”, and from “coronavirus”...

He Who Must Not Be Named: why is Trump unnamed in so many books?

‘The dictator’, ‘this man’, ‘the president’ – over the last four years, authors have gone out of their way to avoid Trump’s name. But why?During the Trump era – which, all being well, will draw to a close in January – the novel has flourished, with writers continuing to interrogate the purpose of fiction in a time when facts are crucial. But many novelists...

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