Monday, January 2, 2012

Matt Rees

Matt Rees is an award-winning crime novelist and foreign correspondent. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed Omar Yussef crime series, including The Collaborator of Bethlehem. He is also the author of Cain’s Field, a nonfiction account of Israeli and Palestinian society. Rees lives in Jerusalem.

From Rees's Q &A with Jeff Glor about his new novel, Mozart's Last Aria:

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Matt Rees: I've always loved Mozart, but his music became more important to me when I was working as a foreign correspondent for Time magazine during the Palestinian intifada. The violence I witnessed and experienced disturbed me. I was in some ways traumatized. My reaction to trauma was to lose my temper to a crazy extent. When I listened to Mozart, I felt calmer. So I used to drive around the West Bank and Gaza listening to this beautiful music, not thinking about the killing and the threat that lay around the corner. I took a break from covering the intifada to visit Austria with my wife - we were looking for a place that was the anti-intifada, organized, peaceful and beautiful. We happened to pass through a small mountain village where, I learned, Mozart's sister, Nannerl had spent her married life. I visited her house and saw that she looked exactly like her brother. Naturally that got me thinking about plot opportunities. But I also felt called by her, as I stood at the edge of the lake at the bottom of her garden. Called by a talented woman who had been consigned to this backwater while her brother achieved fame in the Imperial capital. I wrote the book for her.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

MR: I learned to...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Matt Beynon Rees' website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Mozart's Last Aria.

The Page 69 Test: Mozart's Last Aria.

Writers Read: Matt Rees.

--Marshal Zeringue