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Social activist among writers for BNC Book & Author events

Talia Carner

Talia Carner’s psychological suspense novels always revolve around long-ignored social issues, indignities and atrocities. “Knowledge is so valuable,” she says. “When people start looking at those issues and start sharing them, the feeling you get when you change someone’s life, it is magic.”

Carner is one of four nationally known authors who will share the intrigue, humor, thrills and joy that define their different writing styles at the Brandeis National Committee’s 22nd Annual Book & Author events, March 7 and 8.

Carner is the author of four novels. In Tucson, she will discuss the latest, “Hotel Moscow.”

Part documentary, part thriller, “Hotel Moscow” reveals the corruption, unfair treatment of women and anti-Semitism of Russia in the ’90s, through the eyes of an American businesswoman and second generation Holocaust survivor. Searching for Judaism unrelated to the Holocaust, the protagonist discovers meaning when she comes face to face with anti-Semitism.

Carner is a self-described “activist, feminist, and humanitarian who gives a voice to those without one.” A seventh-generation sabra (native Israeli), the New York-based author says she’s unafraid to tackle controversial issues. Before turning to fiction, she worked for Redbook and served as publisher of Savvy Woman magazine. “Fiction is my most comfortable form of literary expression,” she says. “Multiple layers—psychology, geography, economics, religion, everything that affects life—go into a book,” she adds. “I think on a very big canvas.”

An adjunct marketing professor at Long Island University and a marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Carner was a volunteer counselor and lecturer for the Small Business Administration and a member of United States Information Agency missions to Russia, teaching women entrepreneurial skills. Her other novels are “Jerusalem Maiden,”  “Puppet Child,” and “China Doll,” with the fifth, “The Fourth Daughter,” going to press shortly.

David Bianculli is an American television critic, columnist, radio personality and non-fiction author. He’s been the television critic for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air show since 1987, and occasionally substitutes for the show’s host.

He’s the founder and editor-in-chief of the website, and an associate professor of television and film history at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. He’ll discuss his latest book, “The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to the Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific,” featuring interviews with Mel Brooks, Ken Burns, Carol Burnett, and other giants of the industry.

In a playful departure from his lifelong, more-sophisticated writing career as Vanity Fair editor, Bruce Handy produced his first book, “Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as An Adult.” His voyage into well-remembered stories was acclaimed by Publishers Weekly as “spirited, perceptive and just outright funny.” 

An author of political thrillers, Mike Lawson is a former civilian executive for the U.S. Navy. He just published “House Witness,” the 12th novel in a series about Joe DeMarco, a Capitol Hill–based investigator. He also writes under the pen name M.A. Lawson in the Kay Hamilton series, about a tough-as-nails, rogue DEA agent.

The Brandeis National Committee Tucson Chapter holds its Book & Author fundraising events at Skyline Country Club, beginning Wednesday, March 7 with “Dinner With the Authors” at 6 p.m. On Thursday, March 8, Victoria Lucas, Tucson-based independent film producer, script consultant and host of Arizona Public Media’s “Hollywood at Home” will moderate an authors’ roundtable. “Book & Author Day” includes brunch, book sales and signings, silent auctions and artisan boutique sales. The event opens at 9:15 a.m., concluding at 2:30 p.m.

This annual program supports Brandeis University’s Sustaining the Mind research for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) diseases. Tickets start at $80 each day. For more information, visit or contact Sheila Rothenberg at 917-579-8030 or

Editor’s note: This post has been updated. A previous version called Mike Lawson an Edgar Award-winning author, which is incorrect.