Eight years after she published On Beauty – an astute, accomplished comedy of manners that was set in New York but paid abundant homage to EM Forster – Zadie Smith returns to the patch of land that she had exuberantly and inimitably made her own in her precocious 2000 debut, White Teeth. Read more

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Simon Kuper is one of England’s most astute football writers, and one of the leading commentators on the global game. Read more

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After the disappointment of his last book, The Possibility of an Island, Michel Houellebecq – called, among other things, “France’s greatest literary export” – returns to his audacious, sardonic self in his new novel, The Map and the Territory. Read more

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In an essay for the Los Angeles Times, Pico Iyer sounds a rallying cry for the long, winding, clause-filled sentence that majestically unfurls itself. Read more

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Last month, the Guardian published a sort of primer to writing. The paper asked distinguished writers to offer the rules of writing fiction. Here are the results. Read more

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On the Guardian’s books blog,  I came across this enjoyable literary parlour game. With the marketing side of publishing being what it is, the game asks you to come up with your own titles/subtitles that might tease, tempt, and force many many readers into buying the book and turning it into a bestseller. Read more

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This is my year of feeling bereft. Some months ago, John Updike, one of my great heroes, passed away. And last month, as I went from panel discussion to reading at the London Book Fair, I heard of the (expected and yet crushing) news of the death of JG Ballard. Read more

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(A longer version of this piece appeared in Mint Lounge on February 28. Read it here. )

Revolutionary Road, the acclaimed Sam Mendes film with a terrific, performance from Kate Winslet, will release in India on Friday.

I’m not sure how many people will go to watch the film, but I hope a lot of people do. That’s not because I am a great fan of the movie. Read more

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