One Minute With: Ian Blair
Friday 27 November 2009
Where are you now and what can you see?
In my study, looking out at a very sodden garden. It is, however, brightened up by a winter-flowering cherry, which has suddenly broken out into intense white blossom.
What are you currently reading?
I always have a few books on the go and at the moment I am re-reading John Gaddis's one volume history of the Cold War, while also dipping in and out of Diarmaid MacCulloch's compelling A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.
Choose a favourite author and why you like her/him
I am very impressed by the long sequence of novels by Patrick O'Brian about the post-Nelsonian navy, not just because of the detailed recreation of the period but because O'Brian created one of the great male relationships of modern literature, in Captain Jack Aubrey and his ship's doctor and British spy, Stephen Maturin.
Describe the room where you normally write
Cluttered with paper, surrounded by pictures that I have not yet got round to hanging, a blizzard of Post-it notes of many colours.
What distracts you from writing?
Which fictional character most resembles you?
To that question, I plead the fifth amendment.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
Very discerning, of course
Who is your hero or heroine from outside literature?
Gill Hicks MBE, who lost both legs at the knee on 7/7. She has no bitterness but works tirelessly to reduce divides between communities, including walking from Leeds to London on her partially artificial legs to do just that.
Ian Blair's 'Policing Controversy' is published by Profile Books
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote