Vida survey of gender bias in literary criticism shows ‘stubborn imbalance’

Authors of report warn that continuing dominance of male writers ‘creates a dangerous lens through which the world is viewed’

Vida has warned that the dominance of white male literary critics “creates a dangerous lens through which the world is viewed”, after its annual survey found that female writers accounted for less than 40% of articles and reviews at more than half of major publications.

The feminist arts organisation, which examines the gender imbalance of both critics and authors whose books are reviewed, surveyed 15 major literary publications and found eight failed to reach gender parity in 2017. These included the London Review of Books at 26.9%, the New Yorker at 39.7%, the Times Literary Supplement at 35.9% and the New York Review of Books at 23.3%, down from 46.9% the previous year.

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Caruana Galizia family ‘at war with Malta’ after journalist’s murder

Paul Caruana Galizia says his father and brothers have not had chance to mourn the death of their mother, Daphne

The family of the murdered Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have had little chance to mourn her death because of continuing intimidation, threats and lies, according to her son.

Paul Caruana Galizia, told the Hay literary festival in Wales that it felt like the family was at war with the state seven months after his mother was killed by a car bomb near her home.

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Rupert Everett gears up for the next chapter: moving in with his mum

Speaking at Hay festival about his latest film The Happy Prince, the star also explained how being openly gay got him typecast

He has lived the wild life in Hollywood and New York, partied with Madonna, hung out with Andy Warhol, and sniffed poppers with Hardy Amies but Rupert Everett’s next chapter promises to be more sedate: he’s moving in with his mum.

“It’s done, I’m there,” the actor told Hay literary festival in Wales. “It’s very peculiar, I’m not sure if it’s a wonderful thing, or a tragic thing yet.

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‘He loved to stir it up’: five writers, editors and friends on Tom Wolfe’s legacy

Tina Brown, Graydon Carter and others take stock of Wolfe’s long-form, stylized reportage that he helped popularize in the 1960s

For all of Tom Wolfe’s accomplishments in the genre of ‘new journalism’, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, The Right Stuff among them, perhaps none of Wolfe’s work has stood up as well as the The Bonfire of the Vanities, his satirical account of Manhattan-style power and justice in the 1980s. His depiction of the characters and values of the naked city, the intermingling of rich and poor, remains essentially unchallenged. The Guardian spoke to five figures well placed to take stock of Wolfe’s legacy in the long-form, stylized reportage that he helped to popularize in the 1960s.

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Tom Wolfe obituary: a great dandy, in elaborate dress and neon-lit prose

Journalist and author who won a name as a brilliant satirist with the ‘novel of the 1980s’, The Bonfire of the Vanities

The writer Tom Wolfe, who has died aged 88, was a great dandy, both in his elaborate dress and his neon-lit prose. Although he was in his late 50s when he became a bestselling novelist, with The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), some 30 years before that he was already famous as a journalist, was indeed that extremely rare thing, the journalist as international celebrity.

It was a part Wolfe played up to, wearing showy tailor-made white suits, summer and winter, as well as fancy headgear and shirts with detachable collars. The overall impression was of a fashionplate from a bygone age. The sartorial fireworks fitted in very well with the highly eccentric literary style Wolfe used and which made such a name for him when he ...

Screened out: why TV and film glam up plain women in books

Marian in The Woman in White is written with a moustache – which vanished in the new TV version, just like the imperfections of many literary characters on camera

When the BBC’s ratings winner The Woman in White ended on a plot twist on Monday night, fans of the 1859 novel were less than pleased, with some speculating that it set the scene for an unexpected sequel in a similar fashion to the TV incarnation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. In the book, Wilkie Collins keeps Marian Halcombe at the home, moving in with her sister Laura and brother-in-law Walter to become a surrogate parent to their children (and, according to some literary critics, throwing a semi-incestuous sapphic spanner in to the works). The BBC adaptation instead whisked Marian away to go travelling around the world – possible, although not easy for a single woman in the 19th century.

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Hanya Yanagihara: influential magazine editor by day, best-selling author by night

It’s enough to make your head spin, but the New York Times journalist and novelist wouldn’t have it any other way. Emma Brockes meets her in New York

When Hanya Yanagihara was 10 years old, her father let her visit a pathologist’s lab. He was a doctor and an artist, twin interests his young daughter shared so that when the pathologist opened the cadaver, she whipped out a sketch pad and started to draw. “I was always interested in the disease, not the human,” she says of that early fascination with medicine, a forensic interest that foreshadowed the themes of her fiction and, 30 years later, found Yanagihara in an unusual life: writing acclaimed novels at night, with a day job as a senior editor at the New York Times. Fiction, says the 43-year-old, “is a completely other realm that’s untouchable and unknown”. Editing a magazine – in this case, ...

BBC’s Agatha Christie adaptation – the question is not whodunnit but why

Readers respond angrily to the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence

Who would have thought that a Guardian feminist reviewer would miss the hidden misogyny in this TV adaptation (A gloriously grim start to Christie’s crime saga, 7 April). We do indeed get the “Agatha Christie we deserve” – or rather, we get the TV adaptations we deserve, if by this we mean screenplays that mistake bleakness for profundity and cliche for character – and that reveal an innate misogyny that has little to do with Christie’s often complex, courageous, unexpected female characters.

Take Mrs Argyle. In the book, she’s conflicted, a social reformer (probably a Guardian reader!) whose painful longing for children and blindly possessive attitude to those she adopts is at the heart of the story. But here, she’s a cruel, racist abuser who even in Lucy Mangan’s review pretty much deserves to die. Well hello ...

Mario Vargas Llosa: murder of Mexican journalists is due to press freedom

  • Nobel prize-winning novelist causes outrage with comments
  • More than 100 journalists killed in Mexico in past decade

Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa has provoked outrage in Mexico by saying that the murder of more than 100 journalists in Mexico over the past decade was due to an expansion of press freedom.

“There is more press freedom in Mexico today than 20 years ago, without doubt,” he said in an interview on Monday.

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Romance so white? Publishers grapple with race issues amid author protests

New report exposes decline in diversity in romance writing, as editor resigns after telling author they avoid putting non-white characters on covers ‘because we like the book to sell’

Readers, writers and editors of romance books are grappling with the genre’s record on diversity, after a week where a report found that books by authors of colour were on the decline, an imprint specialising in diverse romances closed, and another publisher was forced to apologise for telling a writer they avoided putting people of colour on book covers because they didn’t sell.

Queer romance writer Cole McCade came forward last week to reveal conversations with editor Sarah Lyons of the New Jersey-based publisher Riptide. McCade, who also writes as Xen Sanders, described Riptide as “at all levels hostile to me as a person of colour”. He published an email from Lyons in which she told him: “We don’t mind POC ...

Just how monstrous is the Sun’s ‘Flakensteins’ story?

Its report, confecting outrage that oversensitive millenials feel Mary Shelley’s monster was misunderstood, is not perhaps as philistine as it sounds

As Sun headlines go, “Flakensteins” isn’t really up there with the classics such as “Gotcha”, “Up Yours Delors” and the immortal “Freddie Star Ate My Hamster”, but it’s causing something of a stir nonetheless.

“Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ – and is in fact a VICTIM” trumpeted the Sun’s story on Tuesday, echoing an earlier Times article that drew from a new edition of Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old novel. In its foreword, Exeter University’s Nick Groom writes that many students are sympathetic to the creature given life by Victor Frankenstein, despite the fact that the tortured monster then, as the Sun succinctly puts it, “murders his creator’s brother, pal and bride”.

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Just how monstrous is the Sun’s ‘Flakensteins’ story?

Its report, confecting outrage that oversensitive millenials feel Mary Shelley’s monster was misunderstood, is not perhaps as philistine as it sounds

As Sun headlines go, “Flakensteins” isn’t really up there with the classics such as “Gotcha”, “Up Yours Delors” and the immortal “Freddie Star Ate My Hamster”, but it’s causing something of a stir nonetheless.

“Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ – and is in fact a VICTIM” trumpeted the Sun’s story on Tuesday, echoing an earlier Times article that drew from a new edition of Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old novel. In its foreword, Exeter University’s Nick Groom writes that many students are sympathetic to the creature given life by Victor Frankenstein, despite the fact that the tortured monster then, as the Sun succinctly puts it, “murders his creator’s brother, pal and bride”.

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June Rose obituary

Biographer and author who wrote about Modigliani, Marie Stopes and Elizabeth Fry

Art, social and women’s issues dominated the life and works of the writer and journalist June Rose, who has died aged 91. She was particularly fascinated by Modigliani. Her biography of the Italian artist, Modigliani: The Pure Bohemian (1990), perceived him as an elegant stylist rather than the great sensualist described in earlier studies that had drawn heavily on lurid stories of his chaotic lifestyle.

She said that in her books she felt driven by “an urge to tell the story of a person … who had an extremely worthwhile life which was either mis-told or wrongly perceived or not told at all”. A notable example was Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution (1992). Long an iconic figure for women’s rights campaigners, Stopes proved under June’s scrutiny also to be an enthusiastic eugenicist. While still an admirer of ...

Altered Carbon author Richard Morgan: ‘There’s no limit to my capacity for violence’

As Netflix screens his brutal body-swap novel, the writer talks about the anger – and the argument at a party – that fuelled its creation

On my way to meet Richard Morgan, I pass a poster for Altered Carbon, the new Netflix series based on his hardboiled cyberpunk novel about a future Earth where humans can transfer into different bodies. The writer, seated in a London cafe, grins with delight when I mention it: he lives in a village just outside Norwich and that poster, of a body preserved in plastic, is the first one he’s seen.

Altered Carbon tells the story of ultra-tough antihero Takeshi Kovacs, who wakes up on Earth “180 light years from home, wearing another man’s body on a six-week rental agreement”. Kovacs, a former member of a military elite, is tasked with investigating the apparent suicide of one of Earth’s richest men – or, as ...

Mary Beard to host TV version of Radio 4’s Front Row

Cambridge classicist to anchor new Friday night series of live arts debates on BBC Two

Mary Beard is to be the new regular presenter of the TV version of Radio 4’s Front Row, with the BBC returning live arts debate to a Friday night slot.

The Cambridge classicist has been named as the anchor for a series of six programmes that will be broadcast after Newsnight at 11pm, promising “cultural debate, critical reviews and interviews”.

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Poetry is pleasing, even on YouTube | Letters

Poetry of all tastes and genres should be celebrated, say Angela Croft and Catherine Roome

Further to the critique in PN Review that you report (Literary world split as poet attacks rise of social media ‘noble amateur’, 24 January), the wonderful thing about the current poetry scene is there is room for all – both experimental and traditional. I enjoyed listening to Hollie McNish on YouTube as much as I enjoyed listening to those nominated for the TS Eliot prize; and to poets reading at Kings Place and other venues across London and elsewhere.

The appreciation of poetry is highly subjective and, it is encouraging to find workshops and readings across the country embracing people of all ages and from all walks of life. I am neither a professor of English nor a publisher, but as for some poetry being “easy to read” and containing “few challenges” – that can be ...

Elena Ferrante to become Guardian Weekend’s new columnist

Author of bestselling Neapolitan novels says she was keen to test herself with the ‘bold, anxious exercise’ of writing regular pieces for the magazine

Elena Ferrante, the bestselling Italian novelist of the highly acclaimed Neapolitan series, is to write her first ever regular newspaper column, in the Guardian.

The pseudonymous author’s return to writing, a year after an investigative journalist controversially claimed to have revealed her real identity, will be welcomed by fans anxious to see her next move. Ferrante has always said that her anonymity was important to her work, freeing her from the “anxiety of notoriety”.

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Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff – digested read

‘On election night, Melania wept with despair. Now I’ll have to stay with the creep for another four years, she sobbed’

On a snowy January evening in 2017, disgraced head of Fox News Roger Ailes and Donald Trump’s right-hand man Steve Bannon met for dinner in a New York brownstone. “We’ve got a problem,” said Bannon. “Trump doesn’t get it. He doesn’t realise the bad guys are the bad guys.”

“There’s only one thing for it,” replied Ailes. “We’ve got to bring in Michael Wolff to write a book about him. He can be relied on to be as unreliable as the Donald. Hopefully, no one will believe a word.”

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Francis Wyndham obituary

Author, journalist and leading literary figure who discovered and encouraged writers including Bruce Chatwin and Alan Hollinghurst

Francis Wyndham was renowned in the literary world for discovering, encouraging and befriending a string of writers who included VS Naipaul, Jean Rhys, Bruce Chatwin, Alan Hollinghurst and Edward St Aubyn, all of whom acknowledged his importance to them. He had his own late literary success with the publication of two volumes of short stories and a novella, The Other Garden, which won the Whitbread first novel prize in 1987. Francis, who has died aged 93, was also the creative force behind the transcendent photojournalism of the Sunday Times Magazine in the 1960s and 70s.

He commissioned the new hatch of gifted photographers – David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Brian Duffy, Tony Snowdon, Don McCullin, Eve Arnold – believing, against the orthodoxy, that the image ...