Archive | January, 2011

27 January 2011 1 Comment

Enter character the Black Swan and Bruce Springsteen way

A writer needs to enter the characters in his novel. I’ve talked about this with other writers, but also found it useful to discuss it with artists from other fields. Two movies I saw in the last week, “Black Swan” and “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town,” illustrate just why […]

20 January 2011 0 Comments

Ehud Barak’s ‘filthy’ move

When Ehud Barak announced his plan Monday to split from Israel’s Labor Party and form a new parliamentary faction built entirely around himself, the defense minister displayed his usual combination of keen strategic thinking and craven self-interest. Barak’s stated logic is this: He wants to stay in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist coalition because he […]

13 January 2011 1 Comment

Bestselling teeth for Writers

A few years ago, I was at dinner with an American couple who were friends of mine. I had known them a while, but there was something odd about them that night. When they spoke, I was slightly dazzled. I paid more attention to his jokes, even though I had heard most of them before. […]

10 January 2011 0 Comments

Israel tries McCarthyism

The Israeli parliament voted last week to set up a committee to investigate the funding of local human rights groups that right-wingers here say are acting against Israel’s interests —a move opponents compare to the McCarthyism of the United States in the 1950s. The committee, which was an initiative of legislators from several parties in […]

9 January 2011 0 Comments

Into the heart of Hezbollah

The liberal Israeli newspaper published my review of two new books on Lebanon (one’s on Hezbollah, the other is a broader history) in its weekend edition: Hezbollah is often portrayed in the West as a caricature of implacable Islamic terrorism. Lebanon also has become something of a stereotype, its name now synonymous with any process […]

7 January 2011 0 Comments

Into Costume: My book promo Pt. 2

How do you make Jaffa, the ancient Mediterranean port city and present-day gritty suburb of Tel Aviv, look like Vienna in the winter of 1791? Answer: make a book video of a historical novel set in Mozart’s time, and let the lighting do the rest. Last week I headed down to Jaffa for a second […]

1 January 2011 0 Comments

Israel’s president is no angel

When the residents of Kiryat Malakhi, the southern Israeli town whose name means “City of Angels,” picked Moshe Katsav as the youngest-ever mayor in the country’s history in 1970, he was 24. For decades he was the town’s symbol, an immigrant born in Iran who made it to the top of the establishment and was […]