Copyright Brandeis National Committee - Phoenix Chapter. All rights reserved.

Larry Loftis is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the nonfiction spy thrillers The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones; Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy; and Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov - World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond. His fourth book, The Watchmaker’s Daughter: The True Story of World War II Heroine Corrie ten Boom, will be released by HarperCollins on March 7, 2023.

A two-time winner of the Florida Book Award, his books have been translated into numerous languages and can be found in Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Serbia, Czech Republic, Taiwan, India, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the UK. Before becoming a full-time writer, Larry was an AV-rated corporate attorney and adjunct professor of law. His academic legal works have been published in the National Law Journal, Florida Bar Journal, and the law reviews of the University of Florida, University of Georgia, and Suffolk University. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida, where he served on the Law Review as the Senior Executive Editor and Senior Articles Editor. ​​




Olivia Fierro is a professional broadcast journalist whose impressive communications skills allow her to effectively connect with an audience through all media landscapes: television, podcasting, social media, and as a host/speaker/moderator for in-person events.

Olivia anchors 20 hours per week of live television as co-host of Good Morning Arizona, which includes interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle segments, and breaking news (for which she earned a Regional EMMY Award in 2021).

Beyond the news desk, Olivia is the founder and host of Olivia’s Book Club, an online book community, and is the host and producer of a weekly podcast of the same name. She also lends her time, voice, and creativity to a variety of organizations and causes (Valley of the Sun United Way, Dress for Success, Chicanos Por la Causa, March of Dimes AZ, GOTR, HonorHealth Foundation, among others) helping these non-profits raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Olivia Fierro is a graduate of University of California, Los Angeles, and earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both History and Women’s Studies.

​​The 33rd Brandeis Phoenix Chapter

    Wanda M. Morris is the acclaimed author of All Her Little Secrets, which has been praised by Karin Slaughter as “brilliantly nuanced” and reviewed by The Boston Globe, LA Times, New York Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, among others. It was named as one of the “Best Books of 2021” by Hudson Booksellers and selected as the #1 Top Pick for “Library Reads” by librarians across the country. It was selected as a Book Buzz Pick by Good Morning America, serialized in Entertainment Weekly and a Marie Claire book club pick. All Her Little Secrets won the 2022 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery Novel and 2022 Georgia Author of the Year for Best First Novel. She has also been nominated for the Anthony Award, the Strand Critics Award, the Macavity Award and shortlisted for the Crook’s Corner Book Prize.
    All Her Little Secrets has been optioned for a limited series on Showtime network, starring and executive produced by three-time Emmy winner Uzo Aduba.
    Her new book, Anywhere You Run, was named One of the Top Ten Crime Fiction Books of 2022 by The New York Times. It was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by NPR, Publisher’s Weekly, and Amazon. It has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal. It was listed as one of “Fifteen Standout Historical Fiction Books to Read This Year” by Oprah Daily. In its review, Publishers Weekly stated, “Finely sculpted characters and crisp dialogue help make this a standout.” Booklist’s starred review stated, “This riveting and moving novel, with echoes of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, is highly recommended for fans of suspense and women’s fiction.”
    Wanda is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Crime Writers of Color and serves on the Board of International Thriller Writers. She is married, the mother of three and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Signal Fires

Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The New  Yorker, Vogue and Time. She has taught at Columbia,  Wesleyan, and New York University and is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy.


Anywhere You Run


The Watchmaker's Daughter

Rabia Chaudry is an attorney, advocate, podcaster, and author of the New York Times bestseller Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After “Serial”  and executive producer of a four-part HBO documentary The Case Against Adnan Syed, which was based on her book.

Chaudry is also co-producer and co-host of three podcasts, Undisclosed (over 400 million downloads), The Hidden Djinn and Nighty Night (bone-chilling bedtime stories).

A 2021 Aspen Institute/ADL Civil Society Fellow and a 2016 Aspen Ideas Scholar, she serves on the Vanguard Board at the Aspen Institute. She is a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project, a Fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, and a Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Currently, she is a founding board member of the Inter-Jewish Muslim Alliance and the Muslim Jewish Advisory Council, both of which focus on building Muslim-Jewish coalitions around pressing policy issues and educating across communities to break barriers.

Her new book, Fatty Fatty Boom Boom: A Memoir of Food, Fat & Family, is “a warm, intimate memoir about food, body image, and growing up in a loving but sometimes oppressively concerned Pakistani immigrant family.”​​

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. Her work has been translated into 20 languages, and her short fiction has been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize XLI (2017), The Best American Short Stories (2008-2011), The Best American Nonrequired Reading (2009, 2016), and featured on Public Radio International’s Selected Shorts and This American Life

Her last novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. One of the New York Times Ten Best Books of 2018, it has been optioned for TV by Amy Poehler’s production company. Makkai, a 2022 Guggenheim fellow,  is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is also Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2023 by Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, Salon, Elle,, Good Housekeeping and others, her new novel, I have Some Questions  for You, is both “a transfixing mystery and deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past.” It is considered to be “the greatest achievement yet by one of America’s most acclaimed authors” and was recently optioned for TV. Details are forthcoming.​​

Dani Shapiro is a bestselling author of six novels, including Family History and Black and White and five memoirs, including Hourglass and Inheritance. She is also a screenwriter, who is currently developing the TV pilot for her most recent novel, Signal Fires. She is the creator and host of the popular iHeart Radio podcast Family Secrets (now in its seventh season). ​​​


​Fatty Fatty Boom Boom

Her previous book, the memoir Inheritance, won the National Jewish Book Award and has been optioned for TV by Killer Films (Boys Don’t Cry, Still Alice, Carol). Her new book, Signal Fires  — her first novel in 15 years — was named one of the best books of 2022 by the Washington Post, Time Magazine, Amazon and others. was also the recipient of the National Jewish Book Award and JJ Greenberg Memorial Fiction Prize. Signal Fires has been described as a “riveting, emotional, impossible -to-put-down, literary and commercial tour de force, and a work of haunting beauty by a masterly storyteller at the height of her powers.”​​


I Have Some Questions for You