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Author Talk: Sasha Vasilyuk in Conversation with Michael David Lukas

May 2 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Sasha Vasilyuk returns to the Mill Valley Public library to discuss her riveting debut memoir, Your Presence is Mandatory. Based on real events, Your Presence is Mandatory tells the story of a World War II veteran with a secret that could land him in the Gulag, and his family who are forced to reassess the man they thought they knew and the country he had defended. Spanning from WWII until the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Vasilyuk’s novel shines a light on one family caught between two totalitarian regimes, and the grace they find in the course of their survival.

“At once a historical epic, an engrossing family saga, and an astute examination of morality, survival, hope, and love, Your Presence Is Mandatoryis a stunning feat. The emotional impact of reading Sasha Vasilyuk’s gripping debut is immense. I sat with the vivid characters Vasilyuk has created for hours after reading, and I continue to think of them. Your Presence Is Mandatory is a book to last generations, and one I won’t soon forget.” ―Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

Sasha Vasilyuk was born in the Soviet Crimea and spent her childhood between Ukraine and Russia before immigrating to San Francisco at the age of 13. She has a MA in Journalism from New York University, and her nonfiction has been published in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, BBC, The Telegraph, Narrative, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. She has won several awards, including the Solas Award for Best Travel Writing, NATJA award, and BAM/PFA Fellowship from UC Berkeley. She lives in San Francisco, California with her husband and children.

The evening’s moderator, Michael David Lukas is the author of award-winning novels The Last Watchman of Old Cairo and The Oracle of Stamboul. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Slate, National Geographic Traveler, and Georgia Review. He lives in Oakland and teaches at San Francisco State University.

Our bookseller for this program is Sausalito Books by the Bay.


May 2
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Mill Valley Public Library
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Mill Valley Public Library
375 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941 United States
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