Talia Carner was the publisher of Savvy Woman magazine. A former adjunct professor at Long Island University School of Management and a marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies, she was also a volunteer counselor and lecturer for the Small Business Administration and a member of United States Information Agency (USIA) missions to Russia. She participated at the 1995 International Women's Conference in Beijing, where she sat on economic panels and helped develop political campaigns for Indian and African women. Her first novel, Puppet Child launched a nationwide legislation (The Protective Parent Reform Act) that became the platform for two State Senatorial candidates. China Doll made Amazon's bestsellers list and served as the platform for Ms. Carner's presentation at the U.N. in 2007 about infanticide in China - the first ever in U.N. history. Over 30 of Carner's short stories and dozens of award-winning essays have appeared in The New York Times, anthologies, and literary magazines. Her novel, Jerusalem Maiden (2011) deals with the place of women in extremely religious societies.
Ms. Carner is a board member of HBI, a research center for Jewish women's life and culture at Brandeis University, and an honorary board member of several domestic violence and child abuse organizations. Her addictions include chocolate, ballet, hats - and social justice.
Talia Carner explains the backstory to Jerusalem Maiden
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Q: Where do you get your material?
A: In writing fiction, I am fascinated by the thought of what it is like to live inside another body, to have a completely different set of reference points, from cultural allegories to music, food and dress. I am intrigued by the way the physical landscape shapes the people who are either confined--or freed--by it. (This is true especially for my two yet-unpublished novels, one set in Russia and one in China.) Therefore, while I have traveled extensively, I don't always belong to the places in which my novels are set, nor am I always of the people that materialize in my fiction. For me, the most exciting part about writing is discovering all that imagination within me and using it, then researching places, customs, food, plant life, weather, political system, linguistic syntax, architecture and geography. However, as did in Puppet Child, I incorporate into my writing emotions with which I am familiar--the power of motherhood, the commitment to friendship, the pain of personal growth. Writing is an outlet for my outrage over injustice, prejudice, and ignorance.
Q: It's hard not to wonder how much of PUPPET CHILD story is autobiographical.
A: None of it. Years ago I was in...
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