Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Kind of Author

Please join us in wishing espionage novelist John le Carré (né David Cornwell) a happy birthday. The author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), The Russia House (1989), and, most recently, Our Kind of Traitor (2010) turns 80 years old today. The Writer’s Almanac notes that Cornwell/le Carré
got a job in Her Majesty’s Secret Service as a young man, but he found the actual work of a spy pretty boring. He said, “[It was] spectacularly undramatic.”

Since he was disappointed in his life as a spy, le Carré decided to entertain himself by writing novels. He had to keep his identity secret, so he used the pen name John le Carré. He said, “I wanted something three-syllabled and exotic.” Le Carré means “the square” in French. His third novel,
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), was so successful that he quit his job as a spy and began to write full time.

“Completing a book, it’s a little like having a baby,” he told the Telegraph in 2010. “There’s a feeling of relief and satisfaction when you get to the end. A feeling that you have brought your family, your characters, home. Then a sort of post-natal depression and then, very quickly, the horizon of a new book. The consolation that next time I will do it better.”
(Hat tip to Adam Woog.)

READ MORE: John le Carré at 80,” by Cavershamragu
(Tipping My Fedora).

1 comment:

Winifred said...

Crumbs, seems donkeys years since Sir Alec Guinness graced our screens in the telly version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. So happy birthday and many more of them.