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University of Texas at Austin

Alan Furst:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Furst, Alan
Title: Alan Furst Papers
Dates: 1961-2005
Extent: 31 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 galley folder (14.62 linear feet), and 1 electronic file (2.5 MB)
Abstract: The papers of American writer Alan Furst contain drafts of his novels and non-fiction works, as well as articles, book reviews, essays, poems, screenplays, and stories. Correspondence and career-related material are also included.
RLIN Record #: None
Language: English.
Access: Open for research. To request access to electronic files, please email Reference.
Restrictions on Use: Certain restrictions apply to the use of electronic files. Researchers must agree to the Materials Use Policy for Electronic Files before accessing them. Original computer disks and forensic disk images are restricted. Copying electronic files, including screenshots and printouts, is not permitted.

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchase, 2005 (Reg. no. 15374)
Processed by: Hope Donovan Rider and Liz Murray, 2005 Born digital materials processed, arranged, and described by Chance Adams and Brenna Edwards, 2015-2022.

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

The papers of American writer Alan Furst contain drafts of his novels and non-fiction, as well as articles, book reviews, essays, poems, screenplays, and stories. Literary and personal correspondence as well as career-related material is also included. The papers are organized into three series: I. Works, 1963-2004; II. Correspondence, 1963-2005; and III. Career-Related Material.
The Works series is subdivided into Subseries A. Books, and Subseries B. Other Writings. Book titles are arranged alphabetically and include the novels Blood of Victory (2002), The Caribbean Account (1981), Dark Star (1991), Dark Voyage (2004), Heart of the Raining Queen (serialized, 1977), Kingdom of Shadows (2001), Night Soldiers (1988), The Paris Drop (1980), The Polish Officer (1995), Red Gold (1999), Shadow Trade (1983), The World at Night (1996) including 1997 screenplay, and Your Day in the Barrel (1976). Also present is material for The Book of Spies (2002), an anthology of literary espionage edited by Furst, and drafts of One Smart Cookie (1987), written with Debbi Fields, founder of the cookie and baked goods chain "Mrs. Field's Cookies." All drafts are typed, rather than handwritten or computer-generated. Revised sections are often typed and taped on top of the original typescript. In addition, the drafts contain many handwritten changes. Frequently present are notes and research material, a succession of drafts, copy-edited typescripts, setting copies, proofs, dust jackets, publicity (including posters for Dark Star and Red Gold), and reviews. A small amount of editorial correspondence is available for a number of the novels.
Subseries B. Other Writings includes early typescripts such as a graduate school paper on Sir George Savile, a fragment from an untitled first novel, and poems. Also present are newspaper and magazine articles, numerous book reviews, essays, screenplays, and stories. Furst 's articles on a variety of topics appeared in popular magazines and newspapers including Architectural Digest, Elle, Esquire, 50 Plus, International Herald Tribune, Islands, New Choices, New York, The New York Times, Pursuits, Salon, and Seattle Weekly. The articles are arranged by year of publication and frequently include typescript drafts and tearsheets. Of note is the April 1984 Esquire article, "The Danube Blues," which sparked Furst's interest in writing espionage novels. Numerous slides of his 1983 Danube trip are also available. Unproduced screenplays include "Heros of the Last War" (1984), and "Warsaw" (1992). Stories and essays vary in title and topic, such as "A Crisis in Our Lives," for the 1961/1962 Oberlin Yeoman,   "East Coast Time,"  "A New York Story,"  "Schmuck Economics" and "Things in the Woods. "
The correspondence in Series II, primarily incoming letters, is arranged in chronological order from 1963-2005, the bulk between 2001-2005. Correspondents include academics, agents, booksellers, literary associations, publishers, and readers worldwide. The small amount of personal correspondence from friends and acquaintances is virtually all related to Furst's books, with the exception of a 1963 letter from Furst's grandfather Max Stockman in which his grandson is urged to be a teacher and "write as a sideline" in his spare time.
Series III. Career-Related Material includes articles about Furst, book catalogs and festival fliers, contracts and royalty statements, interviews and publicity photographs.

Separated Material

Books, books on tape, and personal effects received with this collection were transferred to appropriate departments within the Ransom Center.

Index Terms


Fields, Debbi.

Document Types

Digital images.
Electronic documents.
Galley proofs.

Alan Furst Papers--Folder List

Oversize materials Box 32-33 Folder   
Request entire Box 32-33