One Minute With: John Simpson
Friday 19 March 2010
Where are you now and what can you see?
At home, lying on my bed and looking at a really attractive painting that my wife got in South Africa of a street corner which is very resonant.
What are you currently reading?
I've just this morning finished Simon Sebag Montefiore's The Court of the Red Tsar. It's one of those books that gives many new insights into people I had nothing but contempt for.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you like her/him
The author I turn back to is George Eliot. It's comfortable reading her. Part of it is knowing the ending.
Describe the room where you usually write
In a corner of our sitting room. I only seem to be able to write with a giant heap of paper and books around me. It draws criticism from my nearest.
What distracts you from writing?
My wonderul boy who, when I'm at the most intense bit of writing, will want me to watch a DVD with him.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
One of those broken down Graham Greene characters, who have betrayed everyone and are taking too much drink. I'm not a betrayer and I don't drink too much but I'm a little bit frayed.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
I'm rather humbled by them.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
I have a sense that people are not heroes all the way through but at a historical moment, there are people who behave absolutely rightly. An old man during the 1979 Iranian revolution spoke to troops in bulldozers who'd come to knock down Persepolis. He told them there were sacred pictures in the city and they went away. He was there at a key historical moment.
John Simpson's new book 'Unreliable Sources' is published by Macmillan
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 2 Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi
- 3 Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
- 4 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 5 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
Great British Bake Off, episode 4, review: Heat gets turned up as Iain goes into meltdown
Doctor Who kiss sparks Ofcom complaints over 'weird lesbian-lizard perv trip'
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Emmys 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Steven Moffat win big awards for Sherlock
Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi
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