Lisa Lieberman writes the Cara Walden series of historical mysteries based on old movies and featuring blacklisted Hollywood people on the lam in dangerous international locales.
Trained as a modern European cultural and intellectual historian, Lieberman abandoned a perfectly respectable academic career for the life of a vicarious adventurer through perilous times. She has written extensively on postwar Europe. Leaving You: The Cultural Meaning of Suicide, her first book, addresses the suicides of notable Holocaust survivors including Primo Levi, Bruno Bettelheim, and Jean Améry. Her translations of Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay, “Paris Under the Occupation,” and Simone de Beauvoir’s essay, “An Eye for an Eye,” are available on Now and Then Reader. “Dirty War,” an account of the French campaign against terrorism in Algeria, was selected as a Kindle Single. A recent essay on the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution, “Stalin’s Boots,” was the inspiration for the second Cara Walden mystery, Burning Cold. This one is set in Budapest just as the Soviet tanks roll back in, evoking Carol Reed’s classic film of intrigue and betrayal, The Third Man, based on a treatment by Graham Greene. Keeping with the Graham Greene theme, Lieberman’s most recent Cara Walden mystery, The Glass Forest, takes place in Saigon in 1957, during the filming of Joseph Mankiewicz’s plague-ridden adaptation of The Quiet American.
Lieberman taught history for many years at Dickinson College and directed their Center in Bologna, Italy. She has held visiting fellowships at Ohio State and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England and was the recipient of a Bourse Chateaubriand for research in Paris. In her spare time, Lieberman lectures on postwar efforts to come to terms (or not) with the trauma of the Holocaust. On the lighter side, she talks about books and movies and leads writing workshops at literary festivals, public libraries, and other venues.
She has published essays, translations, short stories and film criticism in Gettysburg Review, Raritan, Michigan Quarterly, Mystery Scene, Bright Wall/Dark Room, 3 Quarks Daily, and elsewhere. A recent essay, “Asian Exotica: The Far East in Film Noir,” was selected for Noir City Annual, the best of the Film Noir Foundation’s quarterly e-magazine. Media experience includes interviews on National Public Radio’s “To The Best of Our Knowledge” and Australian National Radio’s “All in the Mind,” and a panel discussion on KQED’s public affairs call-in program, “Forum.” She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and past president of Sisters in Crime New England.
© 2022 Lisa Lieberman