Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Matt Beynon Rees

Matt Beynon Rees is the author of the acclaimed series of novels featuring Palestinian detective Omar Yussef: The Collaborator of Bethlehem, which won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger award, A Grave in Gaza, The Samaritan's Secret, and the newly released The Fourth Assassin. From his Q & A with author J. Sydney Jones:

Describe your connection to Jerusalem and Palestine. How did you come to live there or become interested in it?

I arrived in Jerusalem for love. Then we divorced. But I stayed because I felt an instant liking for the openness of Palestinians (and Israelis). When I arrived I had just spent five years as a journalist covering Wall Street. Frankly that exposed me to a far more alien culture than I experienced when I became a foreign correspondent in the Middle East. People in the Middle East are always so eager to tell you how they FEEL; on Wall Street no one ever talked about feelings, just figures. Rotten material for a novel, figures are. I’ve lived now 14 years in Jerusalem.

What things about Palestine make it unique and a good physical setting in your books?

Palestine is a place we all THINK we know. It’s in the news every day. Yet the longer I’ve been there, the more I understand that the news shows us only the stereotypes of the place. Terrorism, refugees, the vague exoticism of the muezzin’s call to prayer. What better for a novelist than to take something with which people believe themselves to be familiar and to show them how little they really know. To turn their perceptions around. The advantage is that...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The Collaborator of Bethlehem.

My Book, The Movie: The Collaborator of Bethlehem.

The Page 69 Test: A Grave in Gaza.

The Page 69 Test: The Samaritan's Secret.

The Page 69 Test: The Fourth Assassin.

Writers Read: Matt Beynon Rees.

J. Sydney Jones is the author of twelve books, including the Viennese Mystery series--The Empty Mirror and Requiem in Vienna--the nonfiction Hitler in Vienna, 1907-1913, the guides Viennawalks and Vienna Inside-Out, and the Vienna-based suspense novel Time of the Wolf.

--Marshal Zeringue