Matt Rees's Blog (318)

Global Post: Bibi in a corner

Obama presses Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop building in West Bank settlements. By Matt Beynon Rees - GlobalPost May 26, 2009

JERUSALEM — One morning late last week, Israeli Border Police showed up at Maoz Esther, an outpost of Israeli settlers in the West Bank near Ramallah. They waited for a Bible study class to finish, tore down the settlers’ five little shacks and ran the residents off.

A few hours later, the settlers… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 28, 2009 at 7:56pm — No Comments

Acid attacks, crucifixions and a new Patricia Cornwell: Caro Ramsay's Writing Life interview

Caro Ramsay’s debut “Absolution” is one of the most disturbing thrillers you’ll ever read. It features a beautiful woman who’s the victim of an acid attack and a series of disembowelments in the “Crucifixion killings” of young women. Caro’s also from one of the roughest neighborhoods of Glasgow, where she sets her… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 24, 2009 at 10:02pm — No Comments

Elmore Leonard in Bangkok

Christopher G. Moore was good enough to send me an advance copy of his 10th Vincent Calvino novel "Paying Back Jack" which will be out in October (December in the UK). I love the Calvino series for the way it leads the reader into the underbelly of Bangkok in the company of its Italian-Jewish New Yorker private eye. PBJ… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 24, 2009 at 12:06am — No Comments

Mother and Son, Wars and Recipes

War correspondent Matt McAllester fled into the fields of battle to escape an alcoholic, mentally ill mother. In his memoir, Bittersweet, he tries to make amends with her, in the kitchen. Read my interview with McAllester on The Daily Beast.

Added by Matt Rees on May 22, 2009 at 11:23pm — No Comments

The Queen of Quirky: The Writing Life interview with Tama Janowitz

Tama Janowitz has always been great at first lines (Remember her Slaves of New York opened with this: “After I became a prostitute, I had to deal with penises of every imaginable shape and size.”) Her new novel, they is us, will be out… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 21, 2009 at 7:42pm — No Comments

May Allah bless such reviewers

America, the National Catholic weekly, includes a great review of The Samaritan's Secret, the third of my Palestinian crime novels, this week. "Rees masterfully concocts another claustrophobic tale from the occupied territories that takes us deep into the Palestinian experience even as it entertains," writes Claire Schaeffer-Duffy. She also calls my detective… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 19, 2009 at 4:38pm — No Comments

Beastly Me: What Israel learned from Arafat

Tomorrow's Netanyahu-Obama summit has Iran, Gaza, and settlements on the agenda, but the Israeli leader will bring a new tactic learned from an old nemesis. On The Daily Beast today, my take on how Bibi will "pull an Arafat."

Added by Matt Rees on May 18, 2009 at 1:40am — 5 Comments

Early Morning Conspiracies: The Writing Life interview with David Liss

David Liss is the author of classics of historical fiction from his Edgar Award-winning debut A Conspiracy of Paper, which was rooted in his academic studies, through the fabulous tale of the Portuguese Inquisition and the Amsterdam commodities exchange,… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 18, 2009 at 1:16am — No Comments

Pope kicks off red slippers and wonders why he came

Pope's visit satisfies few

Analysis: After a five-day visit to the Holy Land, the Pope may be wondering why he came. By Matt Beynon Rees - GlobalPost

JERUSALEM — As the Pope’s special El Al flight departed Tel Aviv for Rome Friday at the end of his five-day visit to the Holy Land, he might have kicked off his red slippers, dropped his seat into recline, and wondered why he bothered to… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 16, 2009 at 1:21am — No Comments

Hebron settlers sit tight and worry

As the U.S. increases pressure on Israel to dismantle settlements, Hebron residents wonder who they can turn to. By Matt Beynon Rees - GlobalPost

HEBRON, West Bank — He’s stayed in the largest town in the West Bank for 36 years, even though most of its 167,000 residents want him to leave. He’s just won a $50,000 prize for his “Zionist activities” there. His country’s new… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 13, 2009 at 4:43pm — No Comments

The Writing Life interview: Barbara Nadel

One of the jobs authors are required to perform to help promote their work is the strange task of procuring from other authors something called a “blurb”—the praise you’ll find on the back cover of books. They ought to come from authors whose readers might also be interested in your book--that's the idea. In 2006, when I sent out advance copies of my first novel “… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 12, 2009 at 7:10pm — No Comments

The right Holy Land, the wrong Holy Father

My irreverent take on the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI to the Holy Land features prominently on The Daily Beast today. Maybe people always say their take is "irreverent," but in the case of a story about the Pope I feel justified in using it...

Added by Matt Rees on May 11, 2009 at 10:50pm — 2 Comments

The Writing Life interview: Gregg Hurwitz

Gregg Hurwitz is the kind of guy other guys would like to be. Hollywood handsome, an accomplished athlete with a tremendous academic record, successful in his chosen field. He’s also the kind of writer other writers would like to be. His thrillers are intricate, thought-provoking, and breathlessly paced.… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 8, 2009 at 7:21pm — No Comments

French mystery trove

For those who happen to read some French, Planete Polar is a wonderful source of news and reviews about crime fiction, crime writers, and movie offshoots. It's written by Philippe Lemaire, cultural correspondent for Le Parisien. Philippe's a delightful fellow who's interviewed me a couple of times --… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 6, 2009 at 5:05pm — No Comments

Popeophobia hits Holy Land

By Matt Beynon Rees, on Global Post

JERUSALEM — If you happen to be in the Holy Land next week and you have a beef with the pope, get to the back of the line.

In Nazareth, where Pope Benedict XVI will say Mass on May 14, the Islamic Movement accuses the pontiff of insulting Islam in a 2006 speech and leaflets have been distributed in the town calling for violence… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 5, 2009 at 2:10pm — No Comments

The Writing Life interview: Alon Hilu

The most original voice in Hebrew fiction is that of Alon Hilu. His first novel “Death of a Monk” took a blood libel against the Jews of Damascus in 1840 and offered a startling alternative perspective on how the murder at the heart of the scandal might have taken place. The second of his novels “House of… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 3, 2009 at 11:55pm — No Comments

Review: Red Hot Hurwitz

Trust No One by Gregg Hurwitz

St. Martin’s Press. To be published 23 June

The key to a first-rate thriller is for the main character to come up against a dead end many times during the book. The reader, knowing the forces arrayed against our hero and desperate to save him from more danger, each time wills him to use this excuse to abandon his quest. Of… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on May 1, 2009 at 9:01pm — No Comments

Gaza gets manure, but no one to spread it

Billions promised, but Gazans still waiting

Four months on from the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, Palestinians have seen little of the money pledged for reconstruction. By Matt Beynon Rees, on Global Post.

RAMALLAH — Money, wrote the English philosopher Francis Bacon, is like manure: of very little use unless it is spread.

Since an international… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on April 29, 2009 at 2:13pm — No Comments

Baksheeshed to the Bone

I'm guest-blogger today on Checkpoint Jerusalem, the excellent and delightfully varied blog by McClatchy Newspapers Middle East correspondent Dion Nissenbaum. Dion does a better job of rooting out interesting cultural angles on the news than anyone else covering the Middle East. Under the headline "Jesus was… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on April 28, 2009 at 11:58pm — 2 Comments

The Writing Life: Warwick Collins

The riskiest thing for a writer to do is to try to enter the head of a great genius by making that genius the narrator of a novel. Why? Because if you aren’t a genius of at least similar proportions, it won’t ring true. Think of the tedious melodrama that passed for the life of Michelangelo in “The Agony and the Ecstasy”. When that genius is the greatest writer of all… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on April 28, 2009 at 6:53pm — No Comments

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