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A Private Spy John le Carre

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A Private Spy By John le Carre

A Private Spy by John le Carre

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A Private Spy Summary

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

John le Carre was a defining writer of his time. This enthralling collection letters - written to readers, publishers, film-makers and actors, politicians and public figures - reveals the playfully intelligent and unfailingly eloquent man behind the penname.

'The symbiosis of author and editor, father and son, has resulted in a brilliant book, le Carre's final masterpiece' 5*, Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph

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.

Includes letters to:
John Banville
William Burroughs
John Cheever
Stephen Fry
Graham Greene
Sir Alec Guinness
Hugh Laurie
Ben Macintyre
Ian McEwan
Gary Oldman
Philip Roth
Philippe Sands
Sir Tom Stoppard
Margaret Thatcher
And more...

A Private Spy Reviews

Each letter from John le Carre was a beautifully written miniature essay ... fascinating -- Ben Macintyre * The Times *
A Private Spy testifies to le Carre's universally acknowledged gifts as a raconteur, mimic and caricaturist -- Robert Potts * TLS *
Unsurprisingly, he was a brilliant correspondent. Revelations tumble out...These engaging letters are edited with great fairness and sensitivity by a family member, his son Tim Cornwell -- Andrew Lycett * Mail on Sunday *
The symbiosis of author and editor, father and son, has resulted in a brilliant book, le Carre's final masterpiece, 5* -- Jake Kerridge * Sunday Telegraph *
The finest, wisest storyteller -- Richard Osman
A towering writer -- Margaret Atwood
[He had a] rare command of language and unique understanding of how the world really works * Daily Telegraph on Silverview *
A literary giant -- Stephen King

About John le Carre

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.

Additional information

A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carre 1945-2020 by John le Carre
Used - Like New
Penguin Books Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins

Customer Reviews - A Private Spy