The Next Chapter·Dog-eared Reads

The 1988 novel that has a magical hold on Katherine Ashenburg

The journalist and novelist regularly re-reads The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald.
Katherine Ashenburg is a writer, teacher and speaker. ( Joy von Tiedemann, Fourth Estate)

Katherine Ashenburg has been writing nonfiction for decades, as an academic, a contributor to Toronto Life and the New York Times and the author of four books. Her debut novel, Sofie & Cecilia, was published in 2018.

The book that she returns to over and over again is the 1988 novel The Beginning of Spring by British author Penelope Fitzgerald.

"The book I go back to very often is a novel by Penelope Fitzgerald called The Beginning of Spring. I believe Penelope Fitzgerald actually toured Russia for a total of a couple of weeks and she's written a novel that transports you to 1905 Moscow.

This novel is a feat of magic to me.- Katherine Ashenburg

"This novel is a feat of magic to me. You cannot believe this book has not been written by a Russian. It is one of my top five novels in my life."

Katherine Ashenburg's comments have been edited for length and clarity. 


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