Born David Cornwell in 1931, John le Carré wrote 25 novels, beginning his legacy with Call for the Dead in 1961. He adopted a pen name for security reasons as he began writing fiction while working for the British Foreign Service. It was his time managing spies and reading files in the records department that le Carré was able to draw upon to create the stark and unglamourous world of espionage he portrayed in his novels.
John Le Carré - Photo by Nadav Kandar
John le Carré’s novels were given the Hollywood treatment on many occasions, starting back in 1965 with The Spy Who Came in from the Cold starring Richard Burton right up to the popular TV series The Little Drummer Girl in 2018 starring Alexander Skarsgård and Florence Pugh. Other notable adaptations were Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Tailor of Panama, The Constant Gardener and 2016’s The Night Manager starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman and featuring a cameo by the author himself.
Literary agent Jonny Geller said in a statement that “John le Carré was an undisputed giant of English literature. He defined the Cold War era and fearlessly spoke the truth to power in the decades that followed.”
Not one to be defined by genre and always commenting on important humanitarian and political matters, le Carré’s most recent novel - Agent Running in the Field
- was written in response to Britain’s Brexit decision and reflects on the divided world of a modern generation, drawing on the feeling of his classic Cold War novels.
Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK, said: “His work will be read and loved for many generations to come."
For more novels by John le Carré visit here