Talia Carner, the author of “Jerusalem Maiden,” “China Doll” and “Puppet Child,” will return to the Shelter Island Library to read from her latest book, “Hotel Moscow,” at the Friday Night Dialogues program on August 28.
Ms. Carner spoke at the library in 2013, after the publication of her novel, “Jerusalem Maiden.”
Set in 1993, not long after the fall of Communism, “Hotel Moscow” is the story of Brooke Fielding, the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, who joins a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian businesswomen. Anxious to learn about the rise of capitalism, Brooke is also curious about the country that persecuted her mother not so very long ago and its anti-Semitic attitudes.
Her experience goes well beyond the scope of her mission when she learns that the women she is trying to help are having their business efforts threatened by the Russian mafia. As Brooke quickly finds out, in 1993 Russia, “capitalism” is still a dirty word to many. The new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men and nothing that she, an American, does, goes unnoticed. Her goodwill mission quickly takes on life and death challenges.
“Hotel Moscow” is based on Ms. Carner’s real-life adventures in Russia when she travelled to the country in 1993 at the request of the U.S. Information Agency to teach businesswomen entrepreneurial skills. On her second visit, she was caught in the uprising of the Russian Parliament against then-President Boris Yeltsin. In the ensuing chaos, she was chased by the militia and nearly jailed before the American Embassy came to her rescue.
She began work on what was eventually to become “Hotel Moscow” shortly after her return, but put the manuscript aside until four years ago when she re-visited it and began re-crafting the story.
In a pre-publication review, bestselling author Nelson DeMille wrote, “‘Hotel Moscow’ is a finely-drawn tale of a country emerging from its dark Soviet past into a present overshadowed by a new kind of terror and lawless corruption.”
Friday Night Dialogues take place at 7 p.m. in the library’s Community Room. The programs are free, although donations are gladly accepted.
Coming up: On September 4, Island author Peter Lighte will discuss his book, “Host of Memories: Tales of Inevitable Happenstance.”