Write about trauma to relieve the emotion

Memories turn into nightmares, until writing makes them something to be proud of While working on my second Palestinian crime novel, A Grave in Gaza, I sometimes wept as I wrote. I used to think that meant I was a damned good writer. Far be it from me to dispute that self-assessment, but now I […]

Fiction is closer to the ‘truth’ than journalism

Writing the truth by turning to fiction, instead of journalism Journalism is fiction. Don’t believe me? Open a newsmagazine and you’ll be expected to believe that a given Hollywood star is actually a nice man, that you can drive everywhere and not get fat provided you lay off fruit, and that the latest development in […]

Hammett’s writing evokes emotion through reality

How Hammett’s classic ‘The Maltese Falcon’ showed me what kind of writer to be As an undergraduate I studied English literature at Oxford University and I read all I could find of the sort of literary criticism which made novels seem like East German economic analysis. Three years later, I hadn’t learned a thing, except […]

A new Caravaggio cover

Brazilian edition of ‘A Name in Blood’ uses Matthew painting I always love to see what publishers do with the cover for my books in translation. My Brazilian publisher Novo Seculo really worked wonders with their version of my novel about the great Italian artist Caravaggio. Um Nome Escrito Em Sangue (which in English is […]

Writing is like a rock’n’roll gig

The Woodstock Revival Nightmare featuring Matt Rees on “deaf bass” A few years ago I played a Woodstock Revival gig. It didn’t go well. In fact, I wrote an entire article about the various live-show nightmares involved. And why you shouldn’t care, because it’s rock’n’roll. I think it applies to writing too. Just do it. […]

French TV: ‘Bethlehem’ most passionate crime novel

The most passionate crime novel of recent years On French television, Olivier Barrot describes the first of my Palestinian crime novels (The Collaborator of Bethlehem, or as Olivier reads from Le Collaborateur de Bethleem): “I must say that I don’t remember in recent years a crime novel so passionate.” Merci, Olivier! Related articles across the […]