22 February 2010 0 Comments

Book of A Lifetime: The King Must Die

The Independent has a regular feature in which it asks authors to write about a book which changed their lives somehow. Last week the London newspaper asked me to write the piece. Here it is: In early 1999, King Hussein fell sick on his return from cancer treatment in the US. I was Middle East […]

1 March 2009 0 Comments

The Middle East and the Art of Non-catastrophic Thinking

When things look bad in the Middle East, foreign correspondents and diplomats and local politicians tend to forecast every catastrophe up to — and sometimes including — the end of the world. I generally have a more relaxed approach. Why? Because of Mary Renault. I discovered Renault in a used bookstore on a rather ratty […]