Few writers have captured the thrill and intrigue of espionage as master spy novelist John le Carré has. Having worked for Britain's military intelligence during the 1950s and 1960s, le Carré drew on his experiences and portrayed a dark, disillusioned Cold War-era world of spies that stands in stark contrast to the shaken-not-stirred martinis and glamour of James Bond.
One of his most celebrated works, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, about a retired agent brought back to investigate a possible Soviet mole in the British intelligence service, has recently been adapted into a major movie. The film, which features an all-star cast including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy opens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on Dec. 16.
To mark the new adaptation, we're presenting an exclusive interview that CBC's Eleanor Wachtel did with le Carré at his home in Penzance, England, last year. In this two-part special, le Carré discusses his latest book Our Kind of Traitor, his background as a spy, and his books' recurring theme of fathers and sons that reflects his complicated relationship with his own father. This wide-ranging interview won a silver medal at the New York Festivals Awards.