Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen (born 1967) is an American-Russian journalist, translator, and nonfiction author. They identify as non-binary and use they/them pronouns.

Born into an Ashkenazi Jewish family in Russia, in 1981 they moved with their family to the United States to escape anti-Semitism. They returned in 1991 to Moscow, where they worked as a journalist, and covered Russian military activities during the Chechen Wars. In 2013, they were publicly threatened by prominent Russian politicians for their political activism and were forced to leave Russia for the United States.

They write in both Russian and English, and has contributed to The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta and Slate. Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker, covering international politics, Russia, LGBT rights, and gender issues.

Books in order of publication:

The Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men in the Russian Republic1993
Half a Revolution: Contemporary Fiction by Russian Women1995
Dead Again: The Russian Intelligentsia After Communism1997
Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler’s War and Stalin’s Peace2005
Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier2008
Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century2009
The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin2010
Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot2014
Gay Propaganda2014
The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy2015
Where the Jews Aren’t: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region2016
The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia2017
Never Remember: Searching for Stalin’s Gulags in Putin’s Russia2018
Surviving Autocracy2020
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