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Words Will Break Cement: Celebrated Journalist and Human Rights Activist Masha Gessen at Seton Hall University
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Words Will Break CementCelebrated journalist, bestselling author, and human rights activist Masha Gessen will present her new book at Seton Hall University.

Q&A and book signing will follow the presentation.

Wednesday, March 5, 5 - 6:30 p.m., Beck Rooms A&B, Walsh Library

Free and open to the public.

From Masha Gessen, the acclaimed nationally bestselling author of "The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin" and Russian-American journalist whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Newsweek, Slate, and many other publications, comes WORDS WILL BREAK CEMENT, an electrifying and exclusive account of the rise, performances, and punishment of the activist art collective called Pussy Riot.

Masha Gessen is the only reporter who was allowed to interview Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova in prison. She also had extensive correspondence with Maria Alyokhina during Maria’s prison term as well, and had the cooperation of both their families and hundreds of hours of in-person interviews in Russia. With the same rigor, eye for detail and rare firsthand access that make her New York Times and Vanity Fair articles so compelling to read, Gessen reconstructs the journeys by which a group of young women in the most forbidding circumstances transformed themselves into free-thinking artists and activists with a shared vision, nurtured the courage and imagination to express it unforgettably, and displayed unimaginable fortitude in the face of the brutal hardship, isolation, and danger that have been the price of their rebellion.

About the Author

Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist who is the author of several books, most recently the national bestseller The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Newsweek, Slate, and many other publications, and has received numerous awards, most recently the 2013 Media for Liberty Award. She has served as the editor of several publications and as director of Radio Liberty’s Russia Service.

"Masha Gessen [is] one of the most important activists and journalists Russia has known in a generation..." -David Remnick, The New Yorker

Praise for "The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin"

“Gessen has shown remarkable courage… [An] unflinching indictment of the most powerful man in Russia.” –The Wall Street Journal

“[Gessen] shines a piercing light into every dark corner of Putin’s story… Fascinating, hard-hitting reading.” –Foreign Affairs

“Illuminating… It is with [the] explosive revelations that Gessen truly excels… An electrifying read from what can only be described as an incredibly brave writer.” –Columbia Journalism Review

“Part psychological profile, part conspiracy study. As a Moscow native who has written perceptively for both Russian and Western publications, Gessen knows the cultures and pathologies of Russia… [and has] a delicious command of the English language… A fiercely independent journalist… Gessen’s armchair psychoanalysis of Putin is speculative. But it is a clever and sometimes convincing speculation, based on a close reading of Putin’s own inadvertently revealing accounts of his life, and on interviews with people who knew Putin before he mattered.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Absorbing.” –The New Yorker

“Powerful and gracefully written.” –The San Francisco Chronicle

This event is generously funded by the President's Advisory Council and co-sponsored by the Russian and East European Studies Program and the Slavic Club

For more information please contact:
Maxim Matusevich
(973) 761-9386


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