The Secret Heart

John Le Carré: an Intimate Memoir

Suleika Dawson author


Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers

Published:18th Oct '22

Should be back in stock very soon

This hardback is available in another edition too:

The Secret Heart cover

A Telegraph Book to Read for Autumn 2022A Times Best Non-fiction Book for Autumn 2022A Daily Mail Book of the Year 2022A Waterstones Best Book of 2022: Biography

The astonishing new portrait of the master of spy fiction, by the woman he kept secret for almost half his life

John le Carré led a life entirely constructed of secrets. First as a British ‘spook’ during the Cold War, then as a world-renowned writer of espionage fiction, but also in his personal involvements. He guarded his private life with fierce determination, so that even when he finally permitted his life story to be written, there was still one element he insisted be excluded: the women.

Married with children for virtually all his adult life, le Carré – David Cornwell – had a number of secret affairs, usually conducted abroad with women encountered by chance on his travels. These relationships were always intense, dramatic, even tragic, yet each was destined to last no more than a few months. But there was one love affair that withstood the test of time; just one woman in all his life whom he took into the innermost sanctum of his writing and his heart.

The Secret Heart is the account of Suleika Dawson’s unique and enduring love affair with John le Carré. Written with fearless honesty and insight, the book sheds a bold new light on one of the foremost British writers of the 20th century and offers an alternative measure of the man over the literary legend.

.‘A posthumous love-letter to David Cornwell…le Carré’s private life seems to be perfectly aligned to his work.’The Daily Telegraph

‘Dawson is always aware of the complex duplicities le Carré is indulging in (she’s no fool) … A sly and clever book’
William Boyd, New Statesman

‘A fascinating insight into how the betrayal, infidelity and lies that are at the heart of Le Carré’s spy novels were duplicated with exhausting precision in his private life’ Daily Mail

‘Those interested in le Carré will discover much fascinating detail … intelligent and perceptive’
Adam Sisman, Spectator

‘A profound character study of a great writer’ The Times

‘Very sharp and funny’ Daily Telegraph

ISBN: 9780008533021

Dimensions: 240mm x 159mm x 35mm

Weight: 650g

352 pages