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Joanna Rossiter, author of The Sea Change, on the route from Istanbul to India trodden by a generation of 20-somethings.
Matt Rudd, author of The English: A Field Guide, finds out if any of the stereotypes about the English - queueing, binge-drinking, leylandii hedges - are actually true.
Veteran American-Jewish author Cynthia Ozick is the big favourite to win the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, according to the latest odds from bookmaker William Hill.
The 84-year-old writer had never previously been shortlisted for the award, but the bookies are giving odds of 2/1 that she will be the 17th recipient of the Orange Prize for Fiction next Wednesday (May 30th) for her sixth novel, Foreign Bodies.
The second favourite for the award at 7/2 is Esi Edugyan, who was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for Half Blood Blues and will be hoping to go one better this year.
Anne Enright is available at 4/1 for The Forgotten Waltz, while there are odds of 5/1 that 2002 Orange Prize winner Ann Patchett will repeat her triumph a decade later with State of Wonder.
Georgina Harding is a 6/1 shot to win the prize for her third novel Painter of Silence, while Madeline Miller is the 8/1 outsider with The Song of Achilles.
Harding and Miller can take solace from the fact that Tea Obreht, who won last year's Orange Prize for her debut novel The Tiger's Wife, was the 6/1 outsider before the award ceremony.