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John Le Carre’s double life

From the archive: A rackety childhood taught John le Carré to master both spying and writing, argues Jay Elwes

By Jay Elwes   December 2015

British author David Cornwell, also known as John le Carre, poses for photographers following a ceremony at Oxford University. © AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

After the Berlin wall came down, interviewers began to ask John le Carré whether the end of the Soviet Union had robbed him of his subject matter. The question irritated him, because it implied he was only capable of producing spy thrillers, derivative novels little…

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