I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to one of the great writers of our time: David Cornwell, better known by his pen name, John le Carré. He died yesterday at the age of 89.
Le Carré was a spy who became a writer. He transformed the genre of espionage thrillers into an examination of the human condition and an indictment of modern geopolitics.
He wrote bravely and truthfully about people of merit struggling against a world of greed and evil. And in doing so, he spoke for everyone.
I became addicted to Le Carré’s works with his breakthrough novel The Spy Who Came In from the Cold.
Later, his “Karla” trilogy (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy/The Honourable Schoolboy/Smiley’s People) offered a realistic view of the confusion and complexity of the Cold War. In the character of George Smiley, he created the antithesis of the James Bond figure.
I am sure I speak for most writers when I say I have found each of Le Carré’s books to be an instruction on storytelling. I shall miss the great joy of awaiting his next work.
May he rest in peace. And may his words continue to reverberate throughout a world that desperately needs to hear them.