Top 5 letters in A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré

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We are back with a look at the new release A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré. I’m pleased to welcome Steven Ritterman, one of the foremost collectors of le Carré in the world, to the show.

Steven reveals his top five letters from the recently released book. We talk about the letters as well as a bit about what else the estate may end up releasing. All that and more in this episode!

Steven’s Top Five John le Carré Letters

5. Le Carré’s letter to pharma execs following the release of The Constant Gardener. 

4. Le Carré’s letter to Tom Stoppard answering the question of just why he shelved his posthumously released novel Silverview.

3. Le Carré’s letter on his approach to writing his novel A Legacy of Spies.

2. Le Carré’s letter to his wife and sons looking at his past family relationships.

Bonus Letter – Le Carré talks about writing another Smiley post Legacy.

1. A writer puts down his pen

Others letters we discuss touch on his relationship with his stepmother, his care about his work and readers, and the proper spelling of his pen name.

Get a letter of your own from me. Email your address to lecarrecast [at] gmail [dot] com and I will send a spy letter of your very own.

Interact with Steven and other spy fans on the Spybrary Facebook discussion group – 

Jeff’s site –

Jeff’s twitter – @spywrite

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