City Paper is not for tourists
Journalist Masha Gessen has chronicled the lives of members of the revolutionary Russian punk band Pussy Riot, taken on Vladimir Putin’s oppressive policies, and explored her own genetic mutations in order to explain how the human genome works. As a gay Russian expat, Gessen is able to report on these topics with a certain amount of familiarity, and her latest volume is no different. In The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, she uses her own childhood experience as a Russian immigrant to the Boston area to tell the story of the Tsarnaev brothers and how they came to set off bombs at the Boston Marathon. As Gessen explores the family’s vastly different experiences in central Asia and Massachusetts, she builds a slightly more nuanced narrative and explains why two siblings could develop such anti-American sentiments in a short amount of time. When Gessen discusses her work with readers at Busboys and Poets, she’ll integrate her personal experiences into stories of her journalistic endeavors. Masha Gessen reads at 6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets Brookland, 625 Monroe St. NE. Free. (202) 636-7230. busboysandpoets.com.