1 March 2012 0 Comments

Episodes in the Literary Life 2: Get Me to Fucking Manhattan

(This continues my series of autobiographical vignettes, intended to demonstrate the neuroses, ambition, talent, chance, mischance, place, and alcohol that go toward the creation of a writer. The tales may be instructive or proscriptive. This one, at least, is mainly about the alcohol part.) I quit drinking the day after I turned 27. On my […]

30 June 2011 4 Comments

Writing Tip #93: Walking and plotting

Readers like to ask writers “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s such a common question at book readings that I’ve noticed writers (on blogs) making fun of people who ask it. Yet it’s rather silly to ridicule someone for asking a question most writers can’t answer themselves. So here’s my answer: I get my […]

2 February 2011 2 Comments

Omar Yussef predicted Cairo and Tunis

If you’ve been wondering why the people of Tunisia and Egypt have risen up against their dictators and why it caught Washington with pants down, it’s because you didn’t read THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels. In THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, which was published exactly a year ago, my Palestinian sleuth Omar […]

13 October 2010 0 Comments

Love and the crime novel

The crime novel tradition seems to have little connection to love. Maybe sometimes love in a perverse sense is the spur to the murder at the heart of most crime novels – the spurned husband killing his wife, for example. But usually the detective is a loveless loner, pining without much hope like the great […]

13 September 2010 0 Comments

Jerusalem Report: my books critical mirror to Palestinian society

In The Jerusalem Report, Avi Hoffmann writes a very favorable review of my latest, THE FOURTH ASSASSIN. “Former top journalist turned novelist, Rees has ventured out of Palestine this time, but uses his finely honed reporting skills to elicit the flavor of a little corner of Palestine in Brooklyn, where women wear the hijab and […]

31 August 2010 3 Comments

Going historical

Writing of the disdain expressed for genre novels by critics, Raymond Chandler said that there were just as many bad “literary novels” of the type favored by critics as there were bad genre stories – except that the bad literary novels didn’t get published. In other words, there’s nothing inherent in so-called genre fiction that […]

4 August 2010 3 Comments

Israel Museum gets funky

I was the first journalist to interview James Snyder when he arrived in 1997 from a sinecure at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to head the Israel Museum, the country’s premier cultural institution. Snyder had neat white hair, a trim build encased in a seersucker suit, and a black tie. This, in a land […]

3 June 2010 0 Comments

Grief, violence and a Palestinian sleuth

I haven’t written anything about what we might call the flotilla fiasco. And I’m not going to do so. Here’s why: The Jerusalem Post reviews THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels, this week. Ilana Teitelbaum writes: “As in the previous novels, a seemingly isolated instance of murder is revealed to be […]

16 April 2010 0 Comments

Bibi’s Bedtime Book: The Secret Diary of Prime Minister Netanyahu #2

I can’t believe the extent of the corruption being uncovered in Israel’s government. My predecessor as Prime Minister drifted home from vacation yesterday – without any envelopes stuffed with cash, as far as we know — and made a mopey statement about yet another investigation into bribery and fraud and breach of trust on his […]

11 April 2010 0 Comments

A who’s who of Israeli corruption

In a small country you can find all the important decision-makers sweating in one gym. (I posted this on Global Post.) JERUSALEM — The heads of all the crime families in New York used to get together every Wednesday night at the Ravenite Social Club on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. If you were looking […]