Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen, author of the novel “Words Will Break Cement,” will offer a reading and discussion as a part of the SOJC annual PageTurners workshop. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 4-6pm at the Knight Library Browsing Room, 1501 Kincaid St., Eugene.

“Having Masha Gessen here at this point in Russia’s relationship with the world is invaluable,” said James Wallace Chair Peter Laufer. “She is a an exceptional observer and for journalists and nonfiction writers there is so much to learn from her about the power of providing crucial context for news and newsmakers.”

Published in February 2014, “Words Will Break Cement” follows her critically acclaimed “Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin,” which earned her international recognition as a sharp observer of Russian politics. The New York Times Book Review called Gessen “a fiercely independent journalist … who knows the cultures and pathologies of Russia.” Gessen recently moved to New York after working in Moscow for many years.

Gessen, whose has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Newsweek, Slate, and many other publications, will be hosted by Laufer as part of the eighth annual PageTurners class. The two-credit class engages student in a close reading of a book specifically chosen for its use of multiple voices, diverse points of view and rich palette of cultural experiences. But the course takes that literary engagement one step further by including the book’s author in the conversation.

Gessen’s public reading is sponsored in by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and a gift from the Hearst Foundation.