Matt Rees, who sets his crime novels amid the corruption and violence of the Palestinian world, suggests that the current unrest throughout the Arab world will give rise to crime fiction, if not now, then later. "One of the offshoots of the downfall of Arab dictators," he writes, "is sure to be an explosion of thrillers and mysteries." Why?
"I believe Arabs have eschewed crime writing because it’s a democratic genre. One man wants to find out something that a big organization – the CIA, the mafia, the government – wants to keep secret. ... For people who live in democracies, it’s easy to find fiction credible that suggests a man can investigate – and once he fingers the bad guy, the bad guy will be punished."I wonder when such an explosion of thrillers and mysteries will begin (if it has not done so already) and how we will know about it in today's atomized publishing world.
Much short crime fiction in English is published on the Internet these days, particularly on the darker, more violent end of the spectrum. I suspect that little of this work is translated into other languages. Will such be the case with any future boom in Arabic crime fiction? Will the boom happen on the Web, in Arabic, untranslated and under the noses of the outside crime fiction world? Has it started already? Is someone sitting in Tahrir Square or Benghazi at this moment typing and circulating dark tales of crime, justice and corruption?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011