Following the publication of The Valley of Unknowing in the United States, I was invited to contribute a piece to a regular arts column in The Wall Street Journal. In 'Five Best' writers describe five favourite books on a particular theme; in my case 'Life behind the Iron curtain'. Encouraged by the editor to delve deep into the dustiest recesses of the bookshelf, I came up with these titles, each one from a different part of the former Soviet bloc. In their very different ways they're all superb, and you can read why I think so in last Saturday's column here. Annoyingly, my copy of Sandro of Chegem disappeared years ago, and copies are now quite hard to find in the UK. Even my agent, whose knowledge of these things is famously encyclopaedic, was unable to remember the publisher.