‘We are back in his company’: le Carré returns in a revealing collection of private letters

The author airs his views in posthumously published exchanges with family, friends and celebrity fans

A collection of letters by the late novelist John le Carré is to be published later this year. A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020 spans almost eight decades, from the author’s childhood in wartime Britain to just days before his death in 2020. It contains letters to le Carré’s family and friends as well as to high-profile fans such as Hugh Laurie, Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Fry, Alec Guinness and Tom Stoppard.

Topics range from politics and writing to his first marriage and his relationship with his father, Ronnie Cornwell, a fraudster who spent four years in prison and was an associate of the Kray brothers in London’s criminal fraternity. Le Carré’s publisher, Viking, has called the book “the most intimate portrait of the great writer that will ever be published”.

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