Grass’s added ingredient
Ian Brunskill
Günter Grass recently caused an outcry after revealing that he had been a member of the Waffen SS. But, argues Ian Brunskill, if the controversy has dented Grass’s reputation as conscience of the nation then that may be no bad thing; not even for Grass himself.

Poet in pain
Adam Thorpe
In his latest book, Andrew Motion remembers – and unremembers – a childhood interrupted by tragedy.

Beyond the nuclear
M. E. Yapp
There is a sadness, a long unrequited yearning, hidden in the history of Iran’s relations with the US. There is also a tale of incompetent diplomats, mutual incomprehension and dangerous rhetoric.

Breath was just another weapon
Bharat Tandon
After the “Technicolor knock-about” of his previous novel, Martin Amis returns almost to top form with his restrained story of the Gulag.

Illumination in the underbelly
Steven Poole
A richly gossipy and diverting new history of Paris reveals the real city, away from stamping ground of literary ghosts.

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Speed dating in Prague
Can you find love on a weekend break? Simon Hacker travels to Prague with 19 other singles and falls for a wispy brunette over cocktails
Instant weekend: Bergen

Norway’s cutest city is perfect for an autumn break that mixes nature, nightlife and open-air dining, says Richard Green

A walk in Britain’s best woods
A wild ramble followed by a snug pub: what better way to celebrate autumn, asks Vincent Crump

Britain through a lens

Landscape photographer Harry Cory Wright is back on the road in the Peak District… where noone can hear him snore

Straight to the top of the piste
Sean Newsom picks the 10 spots to get your winter high; plus, the 10 best ski websites