A new novel, to be published in Autumn 2024 by John le Carré's son, author Nick Harkaway, will explore the life and world of the iconic character, Geroge Smiley, in the missing years between the devastating final scenes of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and the opening pages of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Considered the greatest espionage novelist of our age, John le Carré had a celebrated career as an author spanning 58 years. His works topped global bestseller lists in every decade from the 1960s until the release of Silverview in 2021, which was published posthumously following the author’s death in December 2020.
The publication of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold in 1961 would change the course of le Carré’s writing trajectory forever, enabling him to work as a writer full-time and produce the greatest novels of the Cold War, including The Night Manager and Smiley’s People.
From his first appearance in Call for the Dead, the character of George Smiley became a firm favourite among readers, with The New York Times describing him as ‘the finest secret agent in the world.’
Speaking about his relationship with his father's books, Harkaway said: 'Smiley is woven into my life; Tinker Tailor was written in the two years after I was born and I grew up with the evolution of the Circus, so this is a deeply personal journey for me, and of course, it’s a journey which has to feel right to the le Carré audience.'
On the timing of writing and publishing a new Smiley novel, Harkaway added: ‘It seems as if we need the Smiley stories back now because they ask us the questions of the moment: what compassion do we owe to one another as human beings, and at what point does that compassion become more important than nation, law or duty?’
Harriet Bourton, Publishing Director at Viking, said: ‘As a life-long fan of the incredible world that John le Carré created, these missing years in Smiley’s career have always intrigued me and nobody is better placed to capture the spirit and voice of John le Carré than Nick Harkaway. I was absolutely blown away by Nick’s storytelling, and we are beyond excited to make this spectacular novel a momentous publication.’