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Matt Beynon Rees's Blog

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May.17.2011
Ghada Abdel Aal
When she was in her early twenties, Egyptian writer Ghada Abdel Aal began the complicated process of seeking a spouse. It involved meetings in parental living rooms over awkward glasses of tea. On one such occasion her potential groom spent his time screaming at a soccer game on tv. Another turned...
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May.13.2011
Damn, I’ve done it again. Finished a novel, sent it to my publisher…Oh, dear. What’s next? If I write that this is THE authorial dilemma, I’m sure I’ll get emails from writers who just can’t finish their book, or from readers who’d like to be writers telling me that I shouldn’t be complaining about...
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May.12.2011
I've written this story as an immediate response to the murder and arrest of anti-government demonstrators all over Syria--and elsewhere in the Arab world. It’s a work of fiction based on the characters in my series of Palestinian crime novels. But real people are still being killed. DAMASCUS...
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May.08.2011
When Kamal Abdel-Malek was a young student, he chose to study outside the Arab world, eventually becoming a professor at Brown and Princeton Universities in the US. It was the first step in the physical and intellectual journeys of this intriguing Egyptian writer. Born in Alexandria and now a...
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May.04.2011
Mozart writes his guest blog
At last. It took 220 years, but finally someone has told my story. I always said I was poisoned. MOZART’S LAST ARIA came out this week in the UK. It’s a historical thriller by the British writer Matt Rees. I don’t mind that the Mozart of the title is my sister Nannerl – I always thought she...
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May.04.2011
I’ve hosted award-winning writers on this blog before – but never on the day that they received an award. Yet just today the fabulous Italian writer Francesca Melandri received the Book of the Year award from Elle magazine. And justly so. Her novel, “Eva dorme,” tackles the kinds of social issues...
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May.03.2011
The best reason I have for writing a novel about Mozart must surely be that I love his music. Other elements contribute, including my fascination with his neglected sister and the growing historical research which I believe points toward his murder. But the music must be at the center of the novel...
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May.02.2011
Historical novelists recreate the emotions and events of distant times. It helps if they can use real places that still exist. In the case of MOZART’S LAST ARIA, I was able to set much of the action in streets and buildings where Mozart lived and worked – and where you can still visit. In my...
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May.02.2011
Tom Hulce as Wolfgang
The long wait for a successor to Amadeus is over. In fact, my new novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA answers questions about the great composer’s death that are far more deeply rooted in historical research than Peter Shaffer’s nonetheless terrific play.Shaffer, whose play was first performed in 1979 and...
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May.01.2011
For today's release of my new historical crime novel MOZART'S LAST ARIA in the UK, take a look at this two-minute video introducing the book. It features my son dressed as Little Mozart, because I'm even more proud of him than I am of the book... Watch more videos about the book.
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May.01.2011
<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VPvhaY9oVRw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>For today's release of my new historical crime novel<a href="http://www.mattrees.net/mozart.html"> MOZART'S...
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May.01.2011
Mozart
If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published today in the UK by Corvus. (http://www.mattrees.net/mozart.html)Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of...
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Apr.28.2011
I have observed in this space before that author bios tend to be short on interesting detail and overfull of prize lists. Philip Roth, for example, doesn’t seem to exist, according to his bio. He doesn’t live anywhere, nor was he born. He simply receives prizes. This week I’m reading a very good...
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Apr.22.2011
If you were a book editor who wanted to create the perfect writer for a best-selling epic novel of an African-born doctor forced to take refuge in the U.S., you might pick someone from Ethiopia. Make him of Christian Indian parentage. Educate him in medicine and send him to the Iowa Writing Program...
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Apr.21.2011
In the Royal Navy, there’s only one kind of facial hair allowed. British Tars are either clean shaven or they sport a beard, known in the service as a “full set.” The antipathy to the mustache is no doubt because of its predominance among the rival landlubber officer class (although it could’ve...
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