From spy to spy writer: John le Carré aka “Tinker tailor soldier spy” died

Writer John le Carré, who acquired world fame with thrillers and spy stories such as the filmed “Tinker tailor soldier spy”, died this weekend. He was 89 and died of pneumonia in a hospital in Cornwall. Le Carré began his career with the British secret services. He lifted up crime novels into a true literary genre. His death is a great loss to literature.

John le Carré, alias of David John Moore Cornwell, was himself a secret agent in the British secret services MI5 and MI6, before he started writing. With his third novel, “The spy who came in from the cold” (1963), he broke through worldwide. Another bestseller was “Tinker tailor soldier spy”. This and many of his books were filmed. In several of these works, spy George Smiley has the lead.

More recent work is “The constant gardener”, a criticism of big pharma, which was also made into a film. In total, Le Carré wrote 25 novels and with “the pigeon tunnel” he published his memoirs in 2016.

More than 60 million copies of his books were sold worldwide. For years, he wasn’t very keen on giving interviews, especially about his own work with the secret services. Le Carré was a fervent opponent of the Brexit and was against British Prime Minister Johnson.

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