Archive | Matt’s Odyssey: Author on the Road RSS feed for this section

10 March 2011 0 Comments

Personal Advice from Margaret Atwood: Tweet like a silly old woman

I’m in Dubai for the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature. Normally festivals fly authors in for a day, we do our thing before the public, and then we’re packed off, wishing we had time to get to know the other writers. The Emirates Festival is very different: I’m here for a week. A week in […]

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. […]

7 October 2010 0 Comments

Urinal-top video

We were on the Hessian plain somewhere outside Frankfurt when I felt as though the drugs had taken hold. Why am I paraphrasing the great Hunter S. Thompson? Because I endured an experience that Professor Gonzo could only have imagined in his wildest LSD frenzies. Something that made me feel I must be hallucinating, as […]

2 September 2010 0 Comments

Bielefeld does exist!

On my book tours I often venture to places few others visit. There are book festivals in tiny provincial towns. Readings at bookshops in small rural villages. This week I spoke in a German town that many Germans are convinced doesn’t even exist. Bielefeld (population 330,000) is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia. Or is it? […]

8 July 2010 0 Comments

Jerusalem refuge

When you sit on a stage to do a book reading or to discuss writing with other authors, you might think it natural to slip into a script. Improvisation might make you look hesitant in comparison with the polished stories you’ve told many times before. But you’d be surprised – well, I’m surprised – at […]

4 July 2010 0 Comments

Goethe Institute talk Monday night

I’m doing a talk about how and why I write my Palestinian crime novels at the Goethe Institute Monday night at 8 p.m., along with a couple of other interesting Jerusalem-based writers. More details here, but the address is: Goethe-Institut, German Cultural Center Jerusalem 15 Sokolov St. Jerusalem The other writers are: Gil Yaron, doctor […]

13 May 2010 0 Comments

Cameron can’t solve English i.d. crisis

I was at Oxford University at the same time as Britain’s new prime minister. But while I spent all my free time at a famous old pub opposite the historic Bodleian Library with a pint of Guinness in the company of some old Irish porters, I never saw David Cameron there. Which makes me doubt […]

30 April 2010 0 Comments

J Street group refreshingly artistic

I spoke this week to a group touring Israel and Palestine from J Street, an American group which aims to provide an alternative perspective on the conflict hereabouts to the one put forward by AIPAC. The idea: AIPAC is a bit stuck in the mud, because it toes the line of the utterly mudstuck Israeli […]

25 March 2010 0 Comments

Back to Israel: Recall what’s foreign

When you live in a foreign place, it can become home. You forget how foreign it is. Then you go to another foreign country, only to discover that it doesn’t seem so foreign. And you realize that the place you live actually IS extremely foreign. That’s what happened to me during the last week, when […]

25 March 2010 0 Comments

Following Gunter Grass into the hot seat

This weekend I was in Leipzig, Germany, for one of the country’s biggest book fairs. While there I was interviewed for German tv in front of a big audience of festivalgoers, many of whom were mysteriously dressed as Japenese cartoon characters… In fact, the Blue Sofa is right at the entrance to the book fair […]