Le Carré Uncovered?

Let me tell you a few things about myself. Not much, but enough.... I never knew my mother till I was twenty-one. I act like a gent but I am wonderfully badly born. My father was a confidence trickster and a jailbird.… I hate the telephone. I can't type.... I live on a Cornish cliff and hate cities. I don't see many people. I write and walk and swim and drink. Apart from spying, I have in my time sold bath-towels, got divorced, washed elephants, run away from school, decimated a flock of Welsh sheep with a twenty-five-pound shell because I was too stupid to understand the gunnery officer's instructions…

--John le Carré (David Cornwell), born on this day in 1931; famously reclusive and reticent about his personal life, le Carré says that his just-published A Delicate Truth "comes closer to my skin than any of my more recent novels."

Daybook is contributed by Steve King, who teaches in the English Department of Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. His literary daybook began as a radio series syndicated nationally in Canada. He can be found online at todayinliterature.com.


Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).