It is L in the A-Z crime fiction blog series this week and I have picked John Le Carre. It wouldn’t have been a choice I would have naturally made but when I mentioned my blog idea to a friend she gave me two suggestions. One I haven’t taken up, this one I have…
David John Moore Cornwell was born in 1931 and is better known by his pen name, John Le Carre. His mother abandoned him when he was five and his father was a confidence trickster who made and lost several fortunes during his lifetime as well as spending time in prison. In 1950 he started work with the Intelligence Corps of the British Army where he was a German language interrogator of people who crossed over through the Iron Curtain. A few years later he began working for the MI5 and then started his first novel which was published in 1961, Call for the Dead. It wasn’t until his third novel, The Spy That Came in From the Cold, published in 1963, that he became an international best seller as John Le Carre, because the Foreign Office required that he use a different name.
Le Carre is best known for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as well as The Spy that Came in From the Cold and both of these centre around espionage and the East West Divide. Once the Iron Curtain fell Le Carre moved his fiction reaching a peak with The Night Manager in the 1990’s. Many of these have obviously been translated onto the big and small screen and more often than not Le Carre has had a role!
Le Carre is in his 90’s now and insists that he will go on writing.