20 May 2011 2 Comments

Fiction best way to look at ‘Arab Spring’


Here’s a talk I gave to a group of journalists in Jerusalem last week about my new ‘Arab Spring’ short story. In DAMASCUS TRANCE, I decided to make an immediate response to the bloody crackdown on freedom demonstrators by the Syrian government. The story involves my Palestinian detective character Omar Yussef, the politics of the Arab world, and cultural elements such as the Sufi presence in Damascus. I explain why fiction helps readers understand the changes in the Arab world on a deeper level than much of the journalism in the newspaper and on the tv. (If you’d like to read DAMASCUS TRANCE in French, a blogger from France has translated it here.)

2 Responses to “Fiction best way to look at ‘Arab Spring’”

  1. Barbara Ford 24 May 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Have all of your Omar Yussef books and impatiently wait for the next one. What a good idea this is, to help us understand our world today, through the voice of a good story. Yes, please do write more short stories and Omar books. Your email to me was sent to our entire mystery book club.

  2. Matt Beynon Rees 24 May 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    That’s very sweet of you, Barbara. I’m delighted you enjoyed the story — and the idea behind it. It’s great that you sent it around to your book club, too. Thanks so much for being in touch. I’ll keep you posted about new books, and your inclination for more Omar is duly noted…


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