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Lead book review

A complex, driven, unhappy man: the truth about John le Carré

Adam Sisman on the private life of John le Carré, revealed in letters and a kiss-and-tell

15 October 2022

9:00 AM

15 October 2022

9:00 AM

A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré edited by Tim Cornwell

Viking, pp.714, 25

The Secret Heart: John le Carré, An Intimate Memoir by Suleika Dawson

Mudlark, pp.351, 25

It is often said that the age of letter-writing ispast. This forecast seems to me premature. Ihave edited three volumes of letters, in eachcase by writers labelled (though not by me)as ‘the last of their kind’. Yet here is anotherone, and I feel confident that more will follow. Few now write letters, but those whostill do tend to take care what they write.And

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