Bags, ready to go

Beautiful West Texas viewed from above

My orchid in Paris 2010

Au Jardin des Plantes, Paris 2010

Barton Springs 2009

Hawk in the Library of Congress. Photo credit to come.

Reports of a sort

Snow in Austin and Memories of Houston

February 4, 2011

Because of our uncharacteristic winter weather, my readings in Dallas and Houston were cancelled. I'm rescheduling in both cities--March 3 for Houston.

When I first moved to Texas, I settled in Houston, where I'd been on business trips. I figured I'd spend the winter there and then go home to upstate New York. That was in October 1978 and I'm still in Texas.
In those years, I worked as an editor for Dominique de Menil on various projects, and I'd met some people who became good friends. One, Karl Kilian, I knew from New York. Karl was born in Lake Charles, I believe, and grew up in Houston. He's the smartest and funniest man you could hope to meet. I'd known him when I lived in New York on 89th between Broadway and Amsterdam, and he worked across Broadway at the New Yorker bookstore. By the time I got to Houston, Karl had opened the Brazos Bookstore and established it as a cultural center in the city. We lived in the same neighborhood--Deauville, an enclave in Montrose--the blocks of modest little houses owned by Dominique de Menil. The neighborhood gained visual coherence from the uniform brownish gray color all the buildings were painted. Across from Karl's house was the Rothko Chapel. Across from the brick fourplex where I lived is now the beautiful Menil Museum, designed by Renzo Piano. Then it was a clear green field from which houses had been cleared.
Once I moved to Houston, I no longer worked for Mme. de Menil but had a job as a senior editor at Houston City Magazine, which was the first office job I'd had that was any kind of fun. Down the street from the magazine was the Blue Bird Circle Thrift Shop, which figured in my novel about Houston, The Shadow Line.
Writing that book gave me the chance to snoop around the city and to learn about it. I had many guides--Karl Kilian, Stephen Fox--and was astonished by the generosity of so many people eager to help me understand their city.

The Mother Who Stayed

Story Collections
Winedale Books, 2001.
"Furman’s portraits of her characters are rich in telling details, showing them utterly and convincingly rooted in their worlds. Her luxuriant histories of grief are sure and exact, drawing the reader in and rarely loosening their grip." The New York Times Book Review
Viking Press, 1983
"The stories in Watch Time Fly are deceptively simple; they illustrate the way in which masterful skill can disguise itself as an innocent lack of literary self-consciousness." –Wendy Lesser, The New York Times Book Review
Novel
Summit Books, 1986;
reissued by Winedale Books in 2000
"Tuxedo Park is the best entertainment imaginable, rich in plot and event, pulling the reader from page to page as powerfully as the most suspenseful thriller. But it's also good literature. It's finely crafted, each character lovingly, carefully wrought, each scene meticulously colored and every detail palpable.... This is a book that first catches your eye and then grabs your heart. It hangs on and won't let go." — Anne Tyler, USA Today
Viking Press, 1982
Memoir
Winedale Books, 1996.
"Ordinary Paradise shows how a devastating loss, acknowledged or not, can seep through the family psyche." —The New York Times Book Review
Edited Collections
“Widely regarded as the nation’s most prestigious awards for short fiction.” —The Atlantic Monthly

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