31 October 2011 0 Comments

Me, Mozart and the intifada

If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published Nov. 1 in the US by HarperCollins. Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 […]

8 June 2011 0 Comments

From intifada trauma to Mozart murder

The excellent UK crime fiction blog Crime Time features a guest post from me today. I write about how my initial ideas and research for my historical thriller MOZART’S LAST ARIA grew out of my attempts to soothe the trauma of covering the Palestinian intifada as a foreign correspondent.

18 May 2011 0 Comments

Long gestation and the crime novel

Crime novelists generally write a novel a year. It’s what publishers want. Some big writers—and I mean, 25 million books sold—have told me their publishers and agents complain that if they don’t produce a book a year their readers will forget them. In the case of such writers, some of those 25 million may have […]

1 May 2011 4 Comments

My Mozart novel and the intifada

If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published today in the UK by Corvus. Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 and […]

25 December 2010 0 Comments

Bethlehem upbeat for Christmas

For the first time in years, the people of Bethlehem have something more to celebrate at Christmas than the recollection of an important birth in their town 2,000 years ago. After the city’s economy was devastated by the Palestinian intifada over the last decade, Bethlehem’s economic recovery has picked up pace in the last year […]

23 December 2010 2 Comments

Extreme weather boosts creativity

Samuel Johnson wrote that “When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.” The good doctor wrote that in 1758, long before the conversation of Englishmen was informed by the hyperbolic outrage of London’s present tabloids. Just lately it seems he might amend his phrasing to “their only talk.” The British are in […]

11 October 2010 0 Comments

Paving Zion to put up a parking lot

Intifada fans can breathe a little more easily. Just when it seemed as though no amount of building in Israel’s settlements and harsh statements at the United Nations by the country’s foreign minister could truly provoke new violence between Israelis and Palestinians, the Jerusalem municipality came up with something guaranteed to steam up some hotheads. […]

9 September 2010 2 Comments

Overturning detective fiction: everyone’s guilty in my novels

The “Golden Age” of the detective story was the 1920s and 1930s. It was a turbulent period. In Britain, the General Strike. In the U.S., the Depression. Civil war in Spain, and in Germany the rise of the Nazis. Red scares everywhere, fascists too. But the detective story was a solace to those who lived […]

17 July 2010 1 Comment

Tragic friends on a search for peace

JERUSALEM—If you asked about a moment that encapsulates the tragedy of the Israelis and Palestinians, there’d be no shortage of incidents, fatal and wrathful, from which to choose. This week, however, I’d point out an occasion that was less shocking but just as poignant. In a banquet hall of the King David Hotel, an Israeli […]

9 May 2010 0 Comments

Hamas rebuilds in West Bank

Hamas is steadily rebuilding its power in the West Bank, stockpiling weapons and material underground, biding its time for a renewal of the conflict with its Fatah rivals. Palestinian security officials have been telling me this for some time, and they are frankly filled with fear and foreboding. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mentioned it again […]