Edward Platt is the author of Leadville and The City of Abraham, which is about Hebron, the city at the heart of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. 

Here, he talks about his cultural highlights of the year.


2012: A year in books

What is your favourite book of the year?

As usual, I am hopelessly behind - but of those I have managed to read, my favourite novel was Bring up the Bodies, and my favourite non-fiction books were The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane and Why We Build by Rowan Moore.

What is your favourite Picador book ever?

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa

What are you looking forward to reading most next year?


All the books I didn't get round to this year, but particularly: Pieces of Light by Charles Fernyhough, NW by Zadie Smith, Canada by Richard Ford, The Dark Film by Paul Farley,  Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander. And a new one, All That Is, by James Salter.



2012: everything else

What was your favourite cultural event of the year?

I didn't get out much this year (see below) - but of my limited excursions, I would pick Bobby Womack at the Forum.

Who is your villain of the year?

Bashar al-Assad

What is your most powerful memory of the year?

The birth of my daughter

What is your resolution for 2013?

To get more sleep (which is not in my power) and to get more done (which is).

What was the best movie?


Killing Me Softly was too violent, Looper was too silly, The Dark Knight was too loud (am I sounding old?); Once upon a Time in Anatolia was beautiful but too long (I fell asleep - see above); and I haven't seen The Master or On The Road. So it will have to be Skyfall.


What was the best song/album?

Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe

Becoming and being a writer

What would you be if you weren’t a writer?

I have always fantasised about being an architect but I would almost certainly be teaching or working in publishing (if anyone would have me).

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

What is the book you recommend most?

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder

What is your favourite poem?

I have been reading Edward Thomas (who hasn't?): so 'Tears' or 'The Road'.

Where do you write?

At home or in the British Library.

Can you give one piece of advice to people wanting to become a writer?

Have a Plan B.  Everyone needs a Plan B.

Do you read on paper or ebook?


One book you have read more than once?

There are dozens: to name one - Great Expectations 

Your worst ever job?

Picking stones off a conveyor belt at a bulb farm.

What gives you nightmares?

Bills, debts and credit ratings. Or the book I'm writing.