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A Private Spy : The Letters of John le Carre 1945-2020 - John le Carré

A Private Spy

The Letters of John le Carre 1945-2020

By: John le Carré

Paperback | 19 September 2023 | Edition Number 1

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Paperback


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A collection of letters from John le Carre, one of the greatest British novelists of our time, and a fabulous letter writer, spanning decades from his childhood to his final years

A Private Spy spans seven decades and chronicles not only le Carre's own life but the turbulent times to which he was witness. Beginning with his 1940s childhood, it includes accounts of his National Service and his time at Oxford, and his days teaching the 'chinless, pointy-nosed gooseberry-eyed British lords' at Eton. It describes his entry into MI5 and the rise of the Iron Curtain, and the flowering of his career as a novelist in reaction to the building of the Berlin Wall. Through his letters we travel with him from the Second World War period to the immediate moment in which we live.

We find le Carre writing to Sir Alec Guinness to persuade him to take on the role of George Smiley, and later arguing the immorality of the War on Terror with the chief of the German internal security service. What emerges is a portrait not only of the writer, or of the global intellectual, but, in his own words, of the very private, very passionate and very real man behind the name.

About the Author

John le Carre was born in 1931. He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while working in British Intelligence (MI5&6). His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. He died on 12 December 2020. His posthumous novel Silverview was published in 2021.

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