22 July 2010 3 Comments

Signing up

A book takes a long time to write, and then it takes a while to sell. And another while to sell in another country, and another after that. So a writer’s smile spreads across time. My long-term grin widened this weekend, when I signed with my UK publisher for my next two books. Not only […]

10 March 2010 0 Comments

Political suicide of a peace-loving party

The Israeli party of conscience dissolves, and with it a rare leftist voice in a rightist country. (I posted this on GlobalPost) TEL AVIV — Israel’s politics is in a mess. How do I know? The party that stands most firmly for peace talks, environmentalism, liberal education, social justice, separation of religion and state, women’s […]

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 […]

26 June 2009 0 Comments

Is the heat getting to me?

I’m taking a break of a couple of weeks between drafts of my latest novel. To clear my head and to allow my body to accustom itself to a step up in desert heat here in Jerusalem (it’s hard to concentrate the first day the temperature hits 35 degrees, particularly when you write standing up […]

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 […]