The 1988 novel that has a magical hold on Katherine Ashenburg
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.