le Carré, John

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le Carré, John

(lə kärā`), pseud. of

David John Moore Cornwell,

1931–, English novelist, b. Poole, Dorset, grad. Oxford, 1956. He was a tutor at Eton College (1956–58), and subsequently worked for the British foreign service in Germany (1961–64). Le Carré's best-known novel is The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1963, film 1965), a bleak study of cold-warcold war,
term used to describe the shifting struggle for power and prestige between the Western powers and the Communist bloc from the end of World War II until 1989. Of worldwide proportions, the conflict was tacit in the ideological differences between communism and
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 espionage that emphasizes the inhumanity and amorality of international intrigue; it introduced the figure of George Smiley, the British agent who is a recurring character in his works and in the two television miniseries (1979, 1982) adapted from them. His other novels include A Call for the Dead (1961), A Small Town in Germany (1968), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974, film 2011), Smiley's People (1980), The Little Drummer Girl (1983), A Perfect Spy (1986), and The Russia House (1989), the last of his novels to explore cold-war subjects exclusively. Later novels have dealt with international finance (Single & Single, 1999), the arms trade (The Night Manager, 1999), the exploitation of the Third World by multinational corporations (The Constant Gardener, 2001), espionage, terrorism, and the Iraq war (Absolute Friends, 2003), and the nexus of multinational corporations and government in Africa (The Mission Song, 2006). In A Most Wanted Man (2008), Le Carré returned to the subject of spying against the background of post-9/11 Germany. In the suspenseful Our Kind of Traitor (2010) he once again treats the theme of British and Russian espionage, in a contemporary setting. In A Delicate Truth (2013), three Britons confront their own government's treachery.

Bibliography

See biography by A. Sisman (2015); study by P. Wolfe (1987).