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Alan Furst to appear in Los Angeles on Thursday

June 22, 2010 |  6:19 pm

Alanfurst Readers love Europe and its intrigues in the 1930s and '40s, particularly the books of Alan Furst. How he landed in this vocation, even Furst isn't sure.

"I remember sitting at my desk, in my apartment in Paris," he told the L.A. Times in 2008, "staring out the window and saying to myself, 'Why me? Where do I get off recording the death of old Europe?' This seems supremely strange, since I'm in every way an indistinguishable Jewish writer from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But this interest that drives me, I don't know where that came from."

Furst's new novel, released just last week, is "Spies of the Balkans," set in the city of Salonica in 1940. While Furst has written four stand-alone novels, he's hit his stride with his current series, which began with "Night Soldiers" in 1988. "Spies of the Balkans" is the series' 11th novel.

Alan Furst will appear at WritersBloc on Thursday in conversation with screenwriter Dick Clement at the Writers Guild in Beverly Hills. The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Alan Furst. Credit: Shonna Valeska

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