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Matt Beynon Rees's Blog

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Apr.17.2011
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Tess Gerritsen started with romance, but soon realized that dead bodies were where it’s at. At least, dead bodies handled deftly by the two most compelling female series characters in thriller fiction, Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles. Her first books were romance novels, but after...
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Apr.15.2011
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Some people are always expecting or hoping for a war. They’re even working towards that end. When you live in the Middle East, you come to such a realization eventually.Most people are like me, however. The wars sneak up on them. They notice the signs, then they bury them because they think they’re...
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Apr.10.2011
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Move over cards, cocaine, and nicotine, Virtual Reality is the new addiction. It isn’t restricted to the realms of academe or science fiction. Whether you know it or not, it’s going to change your life. It already may have done so. Stanford University Professor Jeremy Bailenson is co-author of a...
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Apr.08.2011
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Susan Abulhawa is a unique voice in contemporary fiction. She’s a Palestinian, born in Kuwait to a refugee family. She spent some years in an orphanage in East Jerusalem, her ancestral city, before university education in the US and she now lives near Philadelphia. She’s the founder of a wonderful...
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Apr.07.2011
I’ve written here in the past about how I use meditation techniques to get into the zone for writing every day. But now meditation seems to have helped me come up with the idea for my next novel.Last week I was in a rotten mood. My son woke up too early. I hadn’t slept well. The boy was whiny and...
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Apr.04.2011
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When you ask writers what underpins the greatest books, they may talk about structure, style, character-building. The best of them identify the novelist’s emotional understanding of himself and his ability to translate it to the page. That’s what strikes readers – perhaps without their even knowing...
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Apr.02.2011
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In the southern desert of Jordan, the ancient Nabateans carved their city, Petra, out of the red-rose rock. Later the caves were home to tribes of Bedouin. And to a young backpacker from New Zealand who fell in love with a Bedouin man. Marguerite van Geldermalsen met Mohammad in the late-Seventies...
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Mar.31.2011
I lifted the spray can and wrote a big, blue P. The letter bled and blurred. "Oh, I messed it up," I said. “Spray closer to the wall, Matt,” my friend Walid told me. No problem. I just moved onto the next section of concrete. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of wall.Miles and miles of it, in...
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Mar.24.2011
In less than two months, my next novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA will be published in the UK (the US publication date is November). This means I have to start thinking about publicity.Naturally I’ll be doing the usual kinds of things that writers do these days. The promo video is already made and can be...
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Mar.17.2011
My taxi pulled up at the traffic lights on the way into Jerusalem late Sunday night. A half dozen Breslav hassids were bouncing up and down in front of the traffic, waving signs and grinning with the exultation of wedding party dancers. They were singing, “Death to the Arabs.”Welcome home, I...
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Mar.03.2011
Potential students of the London School of Economics ought perhaps to rethink their choice of university, particularly if they plan to study international relations. After all, Muammar Qaddafi had to kill thousands of his own people before the LSE’s distinguished academics realized he might be...
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Feb.24.2011
Crime fiction may not be the first thing on the minds of the protesters taking to the streets for democracy across the Arab world. But one of the offshoots of the downfall of Arab dictators is sure to be an explosion of thrillers and mysteries.Until now there has been almost no crime fiction...
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Feb.02.2011
If you’ve been wondering why the people of Tunisia and Egypt have risen up against their dictators and why it caught Washington with pants down, it’s because you didn’t read THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels.In THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, which was published exactly a year ago...
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Jan.27.2011
Natalie Portman
A writer needs to enter the characters in his novel. I’ve talked about this with other writers, but also found it useful to discuss it with artists from other fields. Two movies I saw in the last week, “Black Swan” and “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town,” illustrate just why...
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Jan.13.2011
A few years ago, I was at dinner with an American couple who were friends of mine. I had known them a while, but there was something odd about them that night. When they spoke, I was slightly dazzled. I paid more attention to his jokes, even though I had heard most of them before. She was suddenly...
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