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. […]

17 June 2010 1 Comment

Cheers for Hitler, and Brits go home

The company you keep can put the culture around you in a new light, let you see it as you haven’t before. That’s true when I travel to different countries and discover that readers in Germany have a particular take on my Palestinian crime novels which differs from the way they look to Americans, for […]

9 June 2010 1 Comment

Big acts cancel, Israel’s opera goes on

MASADA, Israel — A parade of bejeweled camels, elaborately costumed warriors and prancing horses crossed the stage. Jerusalem had fallen to a conqueror from the east. The high priest predicted disaster and the wrath of a vengeful deity. Three hours later, with searchlights flitting across the rugged face of this ancient fortress, the Jews were […]

23 May 2010 0 Comments

Israel prepares for next threat–nuclear?

NABLUS, West Bank — During the Palestinian intifada, I sat on a dusty hilltop overlooking this most violent of West Bank towns with a dozen of the top Israeli officers in the area. The brigade commanders told their regional chiefs that all the police work and house-to-house fighting of the intifada had made their troops […]

13 May 2010 0 Comments

‘Exotic’ crime fiction makes unpalatable places bearable

“Exotic” crime fiction has taken off in the last decade. People want to read about detectives in far-off places, even if they don’t want to wade through learned histories of those distant lands. Many of the biggest selling novels of the last decade have been “exotic crime.” You’ll find a detective novel set almost everywhere […]

22 January 2010 0 Comments

Back to diplomacy school for Israel

JERUSALEM — The American humorist Caskie Stinnett once wrote that “a diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.” In other words, someone who doesn’t make his meaning so clear that one is both afraid of the trip to […]

17 May 2009 0 Comments

Early Morning Conspiracies: The Writing Life interview with David Liss

David Liss is the author of classics of historical fiction from his Edgar Award-winning debut A Conspiracy of Paper, which was rooted in his academic studies, through the fabulous tale of the Portuguese Inquisition and the Amsterdam commodities exchange, The Coffee Trader, and on into his compelling portraits of real historical figures like Alexander Hamilton […]

12 May 2009 0 Comments

The Writing Life interview: Barbara Nadel

One of the jobs authors are required to perform to help promote their work is the strange task of procuring from other authors something called a “blurb”—the praise you’ll find on the back cover of books. They ought to come from authors whose readers might also be interested in your book–that’s the idea. In 2006, […]