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The Secret Life of John le Carré (Hardback)
  • The Secret Life of John le Carré (Hardback)

The Secret Life of John le Carré (Hardback)

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Hardback 208 Pages
Published: 12/10/2023
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Waterstones Says

A sequel of sorts to Sissman's magisterial biography of the great literary spymaster, The Secret Life of John le Carré reveals the complexities and contradictions of the iconic writer's private life in fascinating detail.

Secrecy came naturally to John le Carré, and there were some secrets that he fought fiercely to keep. Adam Sisman's definitive biography, published in 2015, provided a revealing portrait of this fascinating man; yet some aspects of his subject remained hidden. Nowhere was this more so than in his private life.

Apparently content in his marriage, the novelist conducted a string of love affairs over five decades. To these relationships he brought much of the tradecraft that he had learned as a spy - cover stories, cut-outs and dead letter boxes. These clandestine operations brought an element of danger to his life, but they also meant deceiving those closest to him. Small wonder that betrayal became a running theme in his work.

In trying to manage his biography, the novelist engaged in a succession of skirmishes with his biographer. While he could control what Sisman wrote about him in his lifetime, he accepted that the truth would eventually become known. Following his death in 2020, what had been withheld can now be revealed. The Secret Life of John le Carré reveals a hitherto-hidden perspective on the life and work of the spy-turned-author and a fascinating meditation on the complex relationship between biographer and subject. 'Now that he is dead,' Sisman writes, 'we can know him better.'

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781800817784
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 310 g
Dimensions: 218 x 142 x 32 mm
Edition: Main


'A completely fascinating and revelatory book, written with great sagacity, candour and judiciousness' - William Boyd

'A perceptive and elegant interpreter of complex lives' - Jonathan Dimbleby

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“Fascinating insight into the impact 'other' women had on his writing”

I am not a fan of biographies, I read perhaps one a year and I have not read the author’s previous well received biography on John le Carré. What drew me here was the fact that it was dealing with the private world of... More

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