Adam Sisman on John le Carré: Writing and Researching Elusive Subjects

January 17, 2022

SPIN is excited to share a recording of guest author and researcher, Adam Sisman, author of John le Carré: The Biography, who joined SPIN for a conversation in late 2021.


Le Carré, who passed away last year, may be best known for his fictionalised spyworlds, but this fiction was often based on his own life and his experiences of working in MI5 and MI6 at the height of the Cold War. For Sisman, the challenge of writing and telling the stories of Cornwell’s life therefore meant negotiating these histories, as well as le Carré’s tendency to continue to produce ambiguity about his life and work.


In the recording, Sisman discusses researching, interviewing and writing about the elusive David John Moore Cornwell (aka the globally successful spy fiction author John le Carré). How can one research, write and tell stories about the world of intelligence? How does one conduct interviews, archival work and craft a narrative? What does it mean to research and write around secrecy? And much more…


Listen to the recording on YouTube.



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