John Le Carré: A Perfect Spy (3929 words)


“One summer afternoon in 1975”, David John Moore Cornwell’s father, Ronald (Ronnie) Thomas Archibald Cornwell, “died splendidly . . .of a colossal heart attack. . . after a life of perfect health and riotous self-indulgence” (le Carré, 1986b). David Cornwell, known more commonly as John le Carré, had a contentious relationship with his father that inspired his complex semi-autobiographical novel, A Perfect Spy (1986a; 1986b). Perfect Spy fits with le Carré’s previous novels in capitalizing on the espionage genre and by delving into the philosophical and ethical issues that mark all of his writing. The novel was the first of le Carré’s thrillers not …

Citation: Beene, LynnDianne. "A Perfect Spy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 September 2019 [, accessed 24 September 2020.]

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