Novelist Alan Furst, whose archive is housed at the Ransom Center, will kick off the Texas Book Festival on October 26 with a reading at the Ransom Center of his latest bestseller, The Foreign Correspondent (Random House, 2006). Furst offers some of his recommended reading.
Memoirs of an Anti-Semite by Gregor von Rezzori
(Vintage International, 1991)
Don't be fooled by the title—this is a fictional memoir of an obscure land in Romania, set in the 1930s, and an exceptionally good read.
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
(Harvest Books, 1969)
A book to reread, some of the best Orwell, with a finely constructed narrative of the Spanish Civil War.
The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth
(Alfred A. Knopf, 1996)
A fictional memoir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to some readers, Roth's best, most carefully realized, novel. A good entree for those who haven't read him.
The Woman of Rome by Alberto Moravia
(Steerforth Italia, 1999)
Moravia is not much read these days, but here's the reason that shouldn't be so: One of the only books written by a man from a woman's point of view that I know about that really works. Extraordinary.