Matt Rees's Blog – November 2009 Archive (12)

In Bethlehem, the Third Intifada approaches

Rain on the streets of Bethlehem can't cool simmering tension. By Matt Beynon Rees - GlobalPost

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — A writer seeks the surprise of a “man bites dog” story. The most violent times of the Second Intifada, which took place under the leaden winter skies of early 2002, gave me mine. I wrote about Arabs in… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 29, 2009 at 11:35pm — No Comments

Scene of the Crime

I went back to the spot where I killed my first man yesterday. I killed him four years ago. I return every few months. Each time I arrive, it’s so peaceful I can’t believe anyone really died. But, even though I’m a writer of crime fiction, someone really did.

I walked across a dirt lot, puddled with the afternoon rain, past the empty reservoir at the head of the valley. Below me the village of Irtas drifted down toward the convent where they hold the annual lettuce festival. The… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 26, 2009 at 11:59pm — No Comments

Where BBC radio producers get their ideas

I was invited to appear on a BBC World Service programme last weekend. If you’ve ever wondered how radio producers feed their on-air people interesting information about their guests (thus enabling them to create a breezy “chemistry” and to relate the day’s news stories to the knowledge or experience of the guest), here’s the questionnaire sent to me for The World Today by Affan Chowdhry, along with my responses. If you try to imagine what your answers would be to some of the questions, I think… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 25, 2009 at 8:59pm — No Comments

Why Israelis pick Tarantino over Spielberg

Latent shame over the Jews' failure to stand up to the Nazis is cited as a reason for the success of "Inglourious Basterds."

By Matt Beynon Rees - GlobalPost

JERUSALEM, Israel — Quentin Tarantino’s "Inglourious Basterds" is the definitive Israeli movie.

The bloodthirsty revenge fantasy of Jewish soldiers crushing German… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 23, 2009 at 11:18pm — No Comments

My Palestinian crime novels, Ethiopian marathoners and Michael Jackson's glove on the BBC

I was on the BBC World Service's The World Today chatting about my Palestinian crime novels today. Because of the nature of the show, I also was asked my opinions on Cairo's muezzins, Ethiopian distance running and the value of Michael Jackson's rhinestone-encrusted white glove (you remember, the one he wore at the Motown Awards the first time he ever did the moonwalk). Haven't you always wanted to know what I… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 23, 2009 at 4:51am — No Comments

What's behind claims about Israel's organ trade?

By Matt Beynon Rees - GlobalPost

JERUSALEM — Donald Bostrom, a freelance Swedish journalist who wrote an article this summer accusing Israeli officials of trading in Palestinian organs, came to Israel late last month to defend his piece at a conference on the media.

Neither Bostrom, who needed a bodyguard because of the stir his article has caused, nor the media came out… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 22, 2009 at 8:50pm — No Comments

Researching the novel

Novelists aren’t journalists. Research for a novel isn’t the same as researching a journalistic article.

I’d have thought that was too obvious to need stating. But then I became a published novelist, and I realized that people thought the two things were rather the same.

I was a journalist for almost 20 years before my first novel was published. THE COLLABORATOR OF BETHLEHEM is a crime novel set in Bethlehem during the intifada, and I’d spent over a decade covering the… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 20, 2009 at 1:07am — 1 Comment

Less about suicide bombers, more about suicides

Michael Anthony is the author of MASS CASUALTIES: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception and Dishonor in Iraq (Adams Media, October 2009). His book is drawn from his personal journals during the first year he spent serving in Iraq. You can read my interview with him… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 18, 2009 at 6:49pm — 1 Comment

Is Abbas really ready to quit this time?

Worn out has-been or drama queen? Interpretations of the Palestinian president's threat to quit vary greatly. By Matt Beynon Rees - GlobalPost

JERUSALEM — Sometimes a quitter really does quit for good.

The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, announced last week that he wouldn’t run for re-election… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 14, 2009 at 1:21am — 2 Comments

Jerusalem's a zoo

When foreign correspondents come to Jerusalem they often ask me for advice on stories and places from which to witness the various conflicts that play out in this city. Next time, I’m going to buy them a ticket to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

I go there every Saturday afternoon with my two-year-old son. But perhaps because our favorite animals (the cute little prairie dogs) have hibernated, I noticed that the zoo is a microcosm of all the things I covered here in a decade and a half… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 12, 2009 at 11:51pm — No Comments

Huff Post on Crime Fiction: What do you think?

Huffington Post book blogger Jason Pinter has a column about "The State of the Crime Novel." It's a fairly Yankocentric appraisal of current crime writing by a series of top US reviewers. It includes this from veteran mystery columnist Oline H. Cogdill: "One of the main missions of crime novels is to paint a timely portrait of the issues in our times. This doesn't mean these novels have to hit you… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 7, 2009 at 1:54am — 12 Comments

Looking for somewhere to kill someone: suggestions please

I’m always looking for a good spot in which to kill someone. Still, as a crime writer, I rarely have to ask about potential locations for a good murder. People are keen to suggest that the blood be spilled on their doorstep.

Most recently, it was a pastor and his wife.

To be fair, they actually said I ought to have my Palestinian detective Omar Yussef visit their church on the top of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where I live. But when I noted admiringly that it’d be a… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on November 5, 2009 at 5:00pm — No Comments

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