Furst received a B.A. from Oberlin College in 1962 and an M.A. from Penn State in 1967. Before becoming a full-time novelist, Furst worked in advertising and wrote magazine articles, most notably for Esquire, and as a columnist for the International Herald Tribune His early novels (1976-1983) achieved limited success. However, the 1988 publication of Night Soldiers inspired by a 1984 trip to Eastern Europe on assignment for Esquire revitalized his career. It was the first of his highly original novels about espionage in Europe before and during the Second World War. Born in New York on February 20, 1941, he lived for long periods in France, especially Paris where he was awarded a Fulbright teaching fellowship. In 2011, the Tulsa Library Trust in Tulsa, Oklahoma selected Furst to receive its Helmerich Award, a literary prize given annually to honor a distinguished author's body of work He also made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2012 with his title The Mission to Paris and Midnight in Europe in 2014.