le Carré, John

le Carré, John lə kärā´ [key], pseud. of David John Moore Cornwell, 1931–, English novelist, b. Poole, Dorset, grad. Oxford, 1956. He was a tutor at Eton College (1956–58), and subsequently worked for the British foreign service in Germany (1961–64). Le Carré's best-known novel is The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1963, film 1965), a bleak study of cold-war espionage that emphasizes the inhumanity and amorality of international intrigue; it introduced the figure of George Smiley, a British agent who is a recurring character in his works and in the two television miniseries (1979, 1982) adapted from them. His other novels include A Call for the Dead (1961), A Small Town in Germany (1968), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974, film 2011), Smiley's People (1980), The Little Drummer Girl (1983), A Perfect Spy (1986), and The Russia House (1989), the last of his novels to explore cold-war subjects exclusively. Later novels have dealt with international finance ( Single & Single, 1999), the arms trade ( The Night Manager, 1999), the exploitation of the Third World by multinational corporations ( The Constant Gardener, 2001), espionage, terrorism, and the Iraq war ( Absolute Friends, 2003), and the nexus of multinational corporations and government in Africa ( The Mission Song, 2006). In A Most Wanted Man (2008), Le Carré returned to espionage, against the background of post-9/11 Germany; in Our Kind of Traitor (2010, film 2016) he treats British and Russian espionage in a contemporary setting; and in A Delicate Truth (2013) three Britons confront their government's treachery. Two adult children of cold war victims from The Spy Who Came In from the Cold demand justice in A Legacy of Spies (2017).

See his The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (2016); biography by A. Sisman (2015); study by P. Wolfe (1987).

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