It’s the 85th birthday of David John Moore Cornwell, better known as British author John le Carré (books by this author), born in Poole, Dorset, England (1931). He’s the creator of George Smiley, a spy who redefined what a spy could be in espionage novels. George Smiley appeared in several le Carré novels, including Call for the Dead (1961), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), and Smiley’s People (1979).
John le Carré’s latest book is a memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (2016).
His advice to writers is simple. They should remember, he says, that “‘the cat sat on the mat’ is not the beginning of a story, but ‘the cat sat on the dog’s mat’ is.”