Archive | August, 2010

31 August 2010 0 Comments

Easy drama, too easy drama

Recently, in this (cyber)space, I started to explain why I’ve turned to historical fiction, after previously writing a book of nonfiction and my four Palestinian crime novels. I wrote that historical fiction casts today’s deepest issues in an unexpected (historical) context and can therefore make us see them anew. It’s also a dramatic way of […]

31 August 2010 3 Comments

Going historical

Writing of the disdain expressed for genre novels by critics, Raymond Chandler said that there were just as many bad “literary novels” of the type favored by critics as there were bad genre stories – except that the bad literary novels didn’t get published. In other words, there’s nothing inherent in so-called genre fiction that […]

16 August 2010 1 Comment

Israeli leaders pass buck

The present Israeli government seems to make a specialty of dropping the ball. The only thing the top ministers won’t drop is the buck. They’re very adept at passing that. Testimony last week revealed the lack of responsibility at the top of the Israeli government. Before a committee investigating a fouled up military operation, Prime […]

13 August 2010 3 Comments

In between the drafts

Rock musicians like to note that, had they not discovered their talents for destroying ear-drums, they’d have been criminals. It adds some edge to their pampered personae. Here’s my claim to edge: had I not been a writer, I’d have been locked up long ago, but not in a jail. At best I’d have been […]

4 August 2010 3 Comments

Sondheim in the West Bank

I’m in between drafts of a novel, so I thought I’d look for something to clear my head. Inspired by a BBC broadcast last week in honor of the 80th birthday of Broadway lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim, I’ve been working on a musical version of my Palestinian crime novels. (Only in the shower, so […]

4 August 2010 3 Comments

Israel Museum gets funky

I was the first journalist to interview James Snyder when he arrived in 1997 from a sinecure at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to head the Israel Museum, the country’s premier cultural institution. Snyder had neat white hair, a trim build encased in a seersucker suit, and a black tie. This, in a land […]

1 August 2010 1 Comment

With democracy like this, who needs dictators?

JERUSALEM — Israelis like to point out that theirs is the only democracy in a Middle East otherwise dominated by repressive regimes. Given the performance of legislators in the parliamentary session that just ended here, you might be forgiven for asking: with democracy like this, who needs dictators? The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, broke up last […]