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Interview with me on Electronic Intifada

I’m flattered to be featured in Electronic Intifada’s Arts and Culture section.  Thanks to Hannah Mermelstein for doing this interview!

Interview: Palestine a rich landscape for a mystery
Hannah Mermelstein, The Electronic Intifada, 31 March 2010

Hannah Mermelstein: You have been a Palestine solidarity activist for many years, and have written a number of both descriptive and analytical nonfiction articles about Palestine. What inspired you to move into the realm of fiction writing?

Kate Raphael: I’ve been writing fiction for about 15 years. I wrote half a mystery back in the late ’90s, and then put it down because I had an idea for a literary fiction work, and when I went to Palestine in 2002, I had written about a third of it. I actually took it with me, thinking I would work on it when I had breaks in my work there, but it just didn’t make sense.

I’ve been an avid mystery reader for years, and I especially love mysteries that introduce me to cultures or places I don’t know anything about. It’s also a really good way to raise political issues in a non-polemical way, to humanize issues. Sara Paretsky’s Blacklist, for instance, which I actually read in Palestine, deals with the USA PATRIOT Act and compares it to the McCarthy period. Walter Mosely writes about racism in a way that white people can hear, because it’s entertaining and his characters are so likable. Tony Hillerman has introduced a generation of Americans to the Navajo culture.

So one night I was riding with some friends on a Palestinian dirt road that passes under an Israeli settler highway, and I looked up and saw a car that seemed to be abandoned up on the bridge, and I told my friend, “That would be a great way for a mystery to start.” So the next time I had a break, I just started writing, thinking of characters you might find in that place, and what the mystery of an abandoned car on the bridge might be….Read the rest of the interview

 

 

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Categories: Press
  1. April 4, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Great interview, Kate (and Hannah)! And I’m intrigued about Murder Under the Fig Tree already … sounds like a fascinating cultural tightrope to walk, which is sure to amp up the mystery’s anxiety.

  2. Arl
    April 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Kate, Fabulous interview! Especially important in getting the word out about your unique and way cool book. But, but,…me want more chapters!!!

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