John le Carr? was one of the greatest novelists of his generation but also had an extraordinary life, from his childhood with a con man father to his inimitable career as a writer. From his involvement in the Cold War, time in Berlin, travels to Vietnam and engagement with world leaders, his experiences were truly remarkable. This collection of letters reveals John le Carr? – the man, the writer and his world – for the first time and most intimately. Including letters to Stephen Fry and about Mrs Thatcher, and correspondence with Alec Guinness and a ten-year-old aspiring spy, selected letters come together with crispness and clarity to illuminate the extraordinary writer.