The Pigeon Tunnel

The Pigeon Tunnel

Stories from My Life

Summary

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING MEMOIR OF SPY-WRITING LEGEND JOHN LE CARRÉ

'As recognizable a writer as Dickens or Austen' Financial Times


From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War to a career as a writer, John le Carré has lived a unique life.

In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive - reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he's interviewing a German terrorist in her desert prison or watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, this book invites us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood.

Best of all, le Carré gives us a glimpse of a writer's journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

'No other writer has charted - pitilessly for politicians but thrillingly for readers - the public and secret histories of his times' Guardian

'When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carré . . . These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind' Aung San Suu Kyi

About the author

John le Carré

John le Carré was born in 1931. For six decades, he wrote novels that came to define our age. The son of a confidence trickster, he spent his childhood between boarding school and the London underworld. At sixteen he found refuge at the university of Bern, then later at Oxford. A spell of teaching at Eton led him to a short career in British Intelligence (MI5&6). He published his debut novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961 while still a secret servant. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. At the end of the Cold War, le Carré widened his scope to explore an international landscape including the arms trade and the War on Terror. His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was published in 2016 and the last George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, appeared in 2017. He died on 12 December 2020. His posthumous novel Silverview was published in 2021.
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