Sunday, February 25, 2007

Matt Beynon Rees' "The Collaborator of Bethlehem"

Matt Beynon Rees' debut detective novel, The Collaborator of Bethlehem, has been raking in the accolades.

Marilyn Stasio called it "an astonishing first novel" in today's New York Times Book Review.

TIME Magazine Cairo correspondent Scott MacLeod wrote:
"[Rees] uncovers the gritty, often disturbing human realities of life in Palestinian society. In fiction or non-fiction that topic can make discouraging reading, but Matt gives his characters heart as he gives his readers a thrill. Fiction is certainly a means of probing the deeper truths in a way that usually eludes daily or weekly journalism -- a reason why many hacks aspire to become novelists, and an excellent reason for picking up Matt's mystery yarn."
Patrick Anderson wrote in his Washington Post review:
"Rees tells this grim story with skill, specificity and richly detailed descriptions of people and places.... The Collaborator of Bethlehem is readable and literate, and offers a vivid portrait of Palestinian life today."
There are links to more reviews at Matt's blog and there is more early praise at his website.

Terri Gross
interviewed him on "Fresh Air" earlier this month.

The Boston Globe's Jerusalem bureau chief Thanassis Cambanis recently profiled Rees.

Watch a brief video of Matt introducing the world of Omar Yussef from the streets of Bethlehem and read a synopsis of the novel.

Read the Page 69 Test results for The Collaborator of Bethlehem.

--Marshal Zeringue