Helen Donahue will be reading at Difficult to Name Saturday, April 8th

Helen Donahue will be reading at Difficult to Name Saturday, April 8th

You have a Masters in Russia...Russian History? I am too dumb to ask a good question about this, but I just want people to know that about you.

yeah i do, i studied russian history, culture, and politics for about 6 years, just the whole way through school. it was mainly the soviet union—i ended up writing my thesis on the criminal underground in the soviet and post soviet union. i really thought i was going to make a difference in academia but it's a super archaic field, every white guy in history thinks they're indiana jones. i had to report a new neckbeard once every 3 months. i had one class where a kid would just STARE at me the entire class, until i started avoiding even going, and i literally had to ask the professor if i could sit next to her, because maybe he'd stop staring at me if it could kind of be interpreted like he were staring at our professor instead. but he kept staring!!! the professor was floored, she thought i was being dramatic at first. i was on track to get my PhD but guys like this were the reason i quit academia! he reminded me of the guy who breathes heavily behind helga in hey arnold. can we talk about how that kid is rape culture? why has no one talked about this before. anyway, my point is, i'm soooooo pretty. see what i do, i make super deflective jokes when i feel uncomfortable calling people out for things i know are real issues!! this is such a bad habit, i used to joke about how i was raped a lot. it made everyone feel super uncomfortable, no clue why!

anyway, yes, i am a lot of people's go-to for "what the hell is putin doing" hot takes. a 22-year-old tried to mansplain my own thesis to me a few weeks ago at an art show just because his grandpa is from russia. have you read a russian history textbook? they're filled with lies! why would this surprise anyone? but i guess the cool thing about history is that it could all be lies but that's also the dangerous part about it because that's where revisionism takes a really wrong turn. that's why there's kids in brooklyn who've gone so far to the left that they think stalin is, like, cool, but "hate" trump and claim they voted for bernie. forget that stalin killed literally everybody! who is that twisted? it makes me so angry. this is why i'm obsessed with school shooters, do you see how easy it is for young white guys to get so angry through their own insecurities that they radicalize? and no one tells them "no, that's not right" like i literally know people who still hang out with kids who adore stalin, and they know about it, and they just say nothing even after one of the kids says he beat up a girl once!!!! like, why would i want to hang out with people who aren't willing to say anything? my point is that i don't, and white male rage is so gross.

What's your favorite thing about New York City in spring?

those trees that smell like cum just bc when they start blooming i can start talking about how they smell like cum again

What can people expect from your reading?

i don't even know what i expect from my reading tbh!!!!