Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Your Presence is Mandatory: A New Lens on the Ukraine War

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Please join the Barnard College Slavic Department and the Harriman Institute for an author talk with journalist and novelist Sasha Vasilyuk. Moderated by John Wright.

Sasha Vasilyuk is a journalist and author of the debut novel Your Presence is Mandatory about a Ukrainian Jewish WWII soldier and his family who reckon with his lifelong secrecy, which is coming out in 2024. Sasha has written a lot about Eastern Europe, art, culture, travel and business. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, NBC, Harper’s Bazaar, BBC Radio, USA Today, KQED, San Francisco Chronicle, The Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, and Narrative. She has won several writing awards, including the Solas Award for Best Travel Writing and the NATJA award. Besides writing, she has founded a leading wedding PR company, the first coworking space in San Francisco, and the first U.S. magazine for Russian-speaking emigre teens. She also spent a year traveling alone around the world. Sasha is a graduate of Lowell High School, UC Berkeley (BA in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies), and New York University (MA in Journalism). She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.