Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Alan Furst

What do you think about the fact that the Harry Ransom Center is home to your works?

Of course I am honored to be a part of the Ransom Center collections, it more than suggests that interest in a writer's work will extend beyond the years of his or her working life, and every writer would at least like to think that might be the case.

When visiting the Ransom Center's website what would you want to explore?

For myself, the simple overview provided by the center's archivists is extremely interesting, because in a description of what's there, is the provocative suggestion of what might be there, so that you will have to ask yourself what particular aspect of that writer's archive you'd like to see. It would be different each time—letters? Reviews? Manuscript? It's an excellent doorway, in that it shows the rooms beyond.

If someone isn't entirely familiar with your work where would you suggest that they begin?

For my own work I would suggest reviews as a good place to start. My work has been well reviewed—I mean by good reviewers—who retell plot lines but have almost always concentrated on insights into history that the books offered them. Maybe, for a historical novelist, they are a useful entryway to the work and what it's about.

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Ransom Edition

Browse the latest issue of Ransom Edition, the Center's biannual print newsletter. Readers will discover content that can't be found elsewhere, such as recommended reading by authors such as James Salter and Alan Furst and how researchers are using the Ransom Center's collections.

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Alan Furst

Novelist Alan Furst.   © Shonna Valeska

Writers Reflect

Alan Furst


Alan Furst speaks about his evolution as a writer, his research and writing process, what it means to have his archive housed at the Ransom Center.

Writing Spy Novels

Developing Atmosphere

First Drafts

Harry Ransom Center

Alan Furst's Archive

View the list of materials available from the Furst archive.

View Inventory

Additional Information

Listen to Alan Furst read from The Spies of Warsaw.

Listen Now

Read some of Alan Furst's reading recommendations.

View Reading List

Other Writers Reflect

Sebastian Barry

Jim Crace

Alan Furst

Tim O'Brien