John le Carré is a bestselling author whose books include and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. On this recording we hear - in his own words - about being brought up by his grandparents and feeling deserted by his mother and father. He talks about being creative as a means of escapism, by telling stories about his absent parents; as well as hating public school where he suffered severe beatings. We also hear about when he worked in the army as an interrogator and his experience working in British intelligence. He discusses becoming a writer, creating Smiley, working with Alec Guinness and why he hides behind two names. In addition, we learn what he thinks of awards - and critics. Due to the age and nature of this archive material, the sound quality may vary.
His death this week marked the end of a career which produced internationally acclaimed novels in every decade from the 1960s onwards. Le Carré’s work was enjoyed by readers and critics alike and adapted multiple times for film and television, making him one of the most celebrated and influential authors of modern times. But where to start if you’re new to this work? Here is our starter for ten.
Alongside Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon, Florence Pugh stars in The Little Drummer Girl, the latest adaptation of John le Carré’s thrilling novel of espionage and betrayal. Here she reads le Carré’s description of the character that she herself plays in the BBC series.