John le Carré’s letter to the editor

In the run up to the release of Agent Running in the Field I’ll be highlighting some le Carré tidbits I’ve collected over time.

As a celebrity, you are always more likely to get your letters to the editor published than most of the public. Bonus points if it’s humorous or picking a fight with someone.

Le Carré is well know for his back and forth feud with Salman Rushdie that took place in the pages of The Guardian, but today I’ll focus on a lighter letter.

A 1982 Times article talked about how the offices of the tabloid Private Eye were above a sex shop and being mistaken for a brothel. This was apparently too good an opportunity for a joke for le Carré to pass up. Not sure if there was already some bad blood there, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

Claiming that the sex shop workers would be scandalized by having the Private Eye offices above them is classic le Carré humor – dry, witty and expertly composed.

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