Shiva Naipaul, the younger brother of VS Naipaul, was born in Trinidad in 1945. He died in London in 1985, of a heart attack, at the age of 40. A life cut brutally short, an end brought on, some say, by his excesses and lack of discipline. Read more

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“Writers have no small talk, said Auden, and so when they run into each other, there is nothing for them to talk about except money.” So begins Sean French’s introduction to this delightful anthology of writers on writers. Read more

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(The following essay is adapted from a public lecture I delivered at the University of Chichester in Sussex earlier this year.) Read more

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The blurb of my edition of Stet — Diana Athill’s riveting, funny and must-read memoir about her 50-odd years as one of London’s best-known publishers — has this quote from the Washington Times: “Athill has written a book that should please anyone who cares about 20th century literature and its creators.” Read more

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I tend to read fiction and non-fiction often at the same time, or at least I alternate one with the other. Then come those not-so-often periods when I end up reading only the one. The past week has been like that. Read more

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VS Naipaul has often said that he never had children because they would have got in the way of his writing. Read more

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I’d promised you last week, so here you are: the books of the decade that made it to our lists of the best fiction/poetry and non-fiction by Indian writers in English (or in English translation). Read more

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When it was announced that Romanian-born German novelist Herta Müller had won the Nobel Prize for literature this year, I had two immediate reactions: a) the by-now-annual stab of resentment that the blokes in Stockholm have – again – not given Philip Roth the nod; and b) oh, dear, I am such an ignorant git, I haven’t read a single one of Muller’s. Read more

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