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

     Amy Silverman is a journalist, author and teacher based in her hometown of Phoenix.
Over the last 30 years, she has covered everything from juvenile justice to the history of the Valley's food scene to the John McCain only Arizonans knew.

     Her work has appeared on KJZZ, as well as radio shows and in The Forward, Literary Hub, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more. Previously, Amy worked for 25 years as a staff writer and managing editor at New Times, the alternative weekly in Phoenix.

     Along with Phoenix, Amy's work has focused on issues related to disability, often weaving narrative with investigative reporting to tell stories about her daughter, Sophie, who has Down syndrome, and others with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
     In 2020, Amy worked with the Arizona Daily Star and Pro Publica's Local Reporting Network on "State of Denial," a yearlong project focused on services for Arizonans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
     Amy is a three-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award, most recently for “State of Denial.” The series won first place for public service from the Arizona Press Club, along with other awards.
     Her first book, My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome, was published in 2016. A graduate of Scripps College (B.A. American Studies) and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.), she lives in Tempe with her husband, Ray Stern, a reporter for the Arizona Republic. They have two daughters.

     David Rosenfelt is a best-selling, Edgar-nominated and Shamus Award-winning author in the mystery and thriller genre. The author of thirty three books, he is known for mysteries with just the right balance of humor, fast-paced dialogue and well-executed action. In his Andy Carpenter thrillers, he provides the most important ingredient in any good mystery: a detective with personality. A reluctant but excellent  lawyer, Andy’s sarcastic wit, humor, love of family, and great legal and investigating skills come to life. ‘Twas the Bite Before Christmas is  Rosenfelt’s twenty-eighth Andy Carpenter thriller. As with all Rosenfelt mysteries, dogs play a prominent role.
     An NYU graduate, Rosenfelt was the President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures, which he left to become a screen and TV writer. But, as with Andy Carpenter, dogs are his true love. His 2013 book, Dogtripping, describes how he developed his passion for dog rescue and is the story of how he moved his family and twenty-five dogs from Southern California to Maine. He started the Tara Foundation, which rescues dogs. To date, the foundation has rescued almost 4000 dogs. He wrote ‘Twas the Bite Before Christmas surrounded by 27 dogs who were too sick to be rescued.​

   Alice McDermott is the author of many novels, including The Ninth Hour; Someone; After This; Child of My Heart; Charming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; and At Weddings and Wakes. That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, TheWashington Post, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere.
     For more than two decades she has been the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the faculty at the Sewanee Writers Conference. McDermott lives with her family outside Washington, D.C.
   One of our other 2024 authors, Tim O'Brien, said of her new book Absolution: “Alice McDermott delivers another elegantly written, immaculately-conceived novel that immerses the reader in the contradictions and moral ambiguities of the human heart. 

   McDermott is a storyteller who aims for the stars. Absolution takes us there, by way of wartime Saigon, and with a powerful reminder that good intentions can have consequences that jerk us awake over a lifetime. What a splendid, compelling book this is."

Liza Mundy

The Sisterhood:

The Secret History of Women at the CIA​



   The Israeli-born novelist is the former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Talia Carner’s heart-wrenching suspense novels, The Third Daughter, Hotel Moscow, Jerusalem Maiden, China Doll and Puppet Child, have been hailed for exposing society’s ills. Her historical novel, The Boy with the Star Tattoo, will be released on January 30, 2024 and is already creating a buzz in the publishing industry.
     Dozens of Carner’s award-winning essays, articles and short stories have appeared in anthologies, literary reviews and leading websites. She taught marketing at Long Island University and was a volunteer counselor for the Small Business Administration. A committed supporter of global human rights, she has spearheaded projects centered on the subjects of female plight. In 1993  Carner was twice a member of US Information Agency teams that traveled to Russia to teach Russian women entrepreneurial skills, followed by her 1995 social/economic initiatives at the 1995 International Women’s Conference in Beijing.
     A Toastmasters’ Gold Level speaker who has participated as a panelist or keynoted over 500 in-person events and over 350 Zoom presentations to civic, religious and cultural organizations. 
     She is a board member of HBI, the Jewish women’s research center at Brandeis University and an honorary board member of several anti-domestic violence, child abuse intervention, and anti-sex-trafficking organizations.
     She is married to Ron Carner, and they have four grown children.  Her addictions include chocolate, ballet—-and social justice.     

     Tim O’Brien received the National Book Award in Fiction for his novel Going After Cacciato. In 2005, his book The Things They Carried was named by the New York Times as one of the twenty-two best books of the last quarter century. Earlier, it received the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The French edition of The Things They Carried received France’s Prix de Meilleur Livre Étranger. The title story from The Things They Carried was selected by John Updike for The Best American Short Stories of the Century.
     In the Lake of the Woods, published in 1994, was chosen by Time magazine as the best novel of that year. The book also received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was selected as one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times.
     In 2010, O’Brien received the Katherine Anne Porter Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for a distinguished body of work. He also received the Mark Twain Award in literature and lifetime achievement awards from the Dayton Peace Prize Foundation and the Pritzker Military Library. He has been elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 
     America Fantastica, his latest novel, was published in October 2023.  According to Entertainment Weekly, it is “a new unflinching portrait of Americana that reads like a roadmap to our modern age.”
    His books have sold more than seven million copies and have been translated into numerous languages.     


     Liza Mundy is an award-winning journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of five books including her latest work, The Sisterhood: The Secret History of Women at the CIA . It was named by Kirkus Review  as one of the most anticipated nonfiction titles of fall 2023. 
     The Sisterhood recounts the true story of the women espionage officers—tough, brilliant, resilient—who helped build the world’s foremost spy agency. Her previous book, the bestseller Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II (2017), tells another true story of women’s contributions to American intelligence, recounting the lives and legacy of more than 10,000 women recruited to break Axis codes during World War II. 
     A former staff writer for the Washington Post, Mundy is also the New York Times bestselling author of Michelle: A Biography, a 2008 biography of former First Lady Michelle Obama; and The Richer Sex, which explored the forces behind women’s rising economic power. She has appeared on television and radio shows including The Colbert Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, MSNBC, CNN, C-Span, Weekend Edition, and All Things Considered.

      Mundy has an AB from Princeton University and an MA in English Literature from the University of Virginia. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Bill Nye.​​

Alice McDermott


Tim O'Brien

America Fantastica, A Novel

Jennet Conant

Fierce Ambition

Book & Author 2024

     Jennet Conant is an American nonfiction author and journalist, who has written seven books about World War II, four of which have appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list. About her subjects, Jennet says “I’m never one of those writers who are interested in doing the 100th biography of Roosevelt. I always look for a story that hasn’t been told.”

     Her current biography, Fierce Ambition, focuses on both the professional and personal life of Marguerite Higgins, a “nervy and relentless” war correspondent. The first woman to win the Pulitzer for war reporting, she went on to live a glamorous, and swashbuckling life.
     Growing up as a granddaughter of James Bryant Conant, a noted chemist, President of Harvard University and an administrator of the Manhattan Project, she wrote “Los Alamos was the chief morality tale of my childhood” and while living in Japan, she was acutely aware “that I was living in a country my grandfather had once tried to blow to smithereens.” It also tore her family apart.
     With degrees in Political Theory from Bryn Mawr College, Philosophy from  Haverford College, and a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University, she was awarded a John J. McCloy Fellowship to study politics in Germany.
     Jennet lives in New York City and in Sag Harbor, New York. She is married to the journalist Steve Kroft. They have one son.

Talia Carner

The Boy with the Star Tattoo

David Rosenfelt

'Twas the Bite Before Christmas