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About this product
- DescriptionOver half a century since The Spy Who came in from the Cold made John le Carre a worldwide, bestselling sensation, David Cornwell, the man behind the pseudonym, remains an enigma. He has consistently quarried his life for his writing, and his vels seem to offer tantalizing glimpses of their author - but in the narrative of his life fact and fiction have become intertwined, and little is really kwn of one of the world's most successful writers. In Cornwell's lonely childhood Adam Sisman uncovers the origins of the themes of love and abandonment which have dominated le Carre's fiction: the departure of his mother when he was five, followed by 'sixteen hugless years' in the dubious care of his father, a man of energy and charm, a serial seducer and conman who hid the Bentleys in the trees when the bailiffs came calling - a 'totally incomprehensible father' who could 'put a hand on your shoulder and the other in your pocket, both gestures equally sincere'. And in Cornwell's adult life - from recruitment by both MI5 and MI6, through marriage and family life, to his emergence as the master of the spy vel - Sisman explores the idea of espionage and its significance in human terms; the extent to which betrayal is acceptable in exchange for love; and the endless need for forgiveness, especially from oneself. Written with exclusive access to David Cornwell himself, to his private archive and to the most important people in his life - family, friends, enemies, intelligence ex-colleagues and ex-lovers - and featuring a wealth of previously unseen photographic material, Adam Sisman's extraordinarily insightful and constantly revealing biography brings in from the cold a man whose own life has been as complex and confounding and filled with treachery as any of his vels. 'I'm a liar,' Cornwell has written. 'Born to lying, bred to it, trained to it by an industry that lies for a living, practised in it as a velist.' This is the definitive biography of a major writer, described by Ian McEwan as 'perhaps the most significant velist of the second half of the twentieth century in Britain'.
- Author BiographyAdam Sisman is an award-winning writer, author of Boswell's Presumptuous Task, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and winner of the US National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, and biographer of A. J. P. Taylor and Hugh Trevor-Roper. He is an Honorary Fellow of the University of St Andrews and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Bristol.
- PrizesShortlisted for Crimefest H. R. F. Keating Award 2016.
- Author(s)Adam Sisman
- PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Date of Publication19/05/2016
- SubjectBiography: Literary
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintBloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Content Note2 x 16pp B&W plates
- Weight515 g
- Width129 mm
- Height198 mm
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