Archive | June, 2009

30 June 2009 1 Comment

Poets central to Palestinian culture

My favorite Palestinian poet is Taha Muhammad Ali, a quietly bumbling presence when he reads his poems, but a deceptively intelligent writer. The warmth and intelligence of Taha’s readings drove Adina Hoffman, a Jerusalem-based writer, to plan a biography of the poet (“My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian […]

28 June 2009 0 Comments

Culture and harshness in Central Europe: Adam Lebor’s Writing Life

Political writing at its best highlights the unexpected changes in parts of our world that are hidden to us. That’s true of writing about the corridors of power in our own capital cities, but it’s even more of a factor for a writer like Adam Lebor whose work – fiction and nonfiction – has captured […]

28 June 2009 0 Comments

Hot Reading in East Jerusalem!

This weekend I was the guest of Munther Fahmi, who runs the excellent bookshop at the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem, for a reading from my newest Palestinian crime novel THE SAMARITAN’S SECRET. Munther and I have been scheming for some time to organize an event, so it was great to finally get it […]

26 June 2009 0 Comments

When poets do the talking

A new book examines the lives of Palestinian poetsBy Matt Beynon Rees – on GlobalPost JERUSALEM — Whenever Palestinian and Israeli artists get together for public “dialogues,” it always seems to end with the Israelis saying, “We’re sorry,” and the Palestinians responding, “Screw you anyway.” That was how it went at a literary conference in […]

26 June 2009 0 Comments

Is the heat getting to me?

I’m taking a break of a couple of weeks between drafts of my latest novel. To clear my head and to allow my body to accustom itself to a step up in desert heat here in Jerusalem (it’s hard to concentrate the first day the temperature hits 35 degrees, particularly when you write standing up […]

25 June 2009 0 Comments

The most obscure band in Jerusalem

I bet you didn’t know there was an underground scene in Jerusalem (at least not an underground music scene; you’ve probably heard of some other undergrounds that operate here). Here’s a little bit of Middle East insider poop for you: what’s the most obscure underground band in Jerusalem? Answer: Dolly Weinstein. A fivesome (formerly a […]

25 June 2009 0 Comments

Stranger than zinc bars and literary fiction

Foreign correspondents are always more enthusiastic about Beirut than about Amman. Just like critics prefer “literary” fiction to crime novels. It seems to me they’re both wrong, and for the same reasons. Visiting reporters always rave about Beirut. Mainly because there’s a very un-Middle Eastern nightlife there. Zinc bars. Beautiful girls in spaghetti-strap tops beside […]

24 June 2009 0 Comments

My 5 favorite novels

My second Palestinian crime novel A Grave in Gaza (UK title: The Saladin Murders) is just now published in Holland. The Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant asked me to contribute a list of my five favorite books, or at least those which’ve had the biggest impact on me as a writer. Here’s what I wrote: Let […]

23 June 2009 0 Comments

Watch the Video: A Grave in Gaza

The video blog Watch the Video features the clip I made for the second of my Palestinian crime novels A Grave in Gaza (UK title: The Saladin Murders). The rest of my videos feature on my Youtube channel. Many writers make promotional videos for their books these days, as you’ll see from the Watch the […]

22 June 2009 0 Comments

Book launch Friday at American Colony, Jerusalem

The Bookshop at the American Colony Hotelis proud to presentan evening with Matt ReesWho will be reading and speaking about his latest novel The Samaritan’s Secret Matt Rees is an award-winning crime novelist who lives in Jerusalem. Major authors have compared him to Graham Greene and John Le Carre. The French magazine L’Express called him […]