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
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party