Surprising news broke this morning that a final complete novel from John le Carré would be published in October titled Silverview. According to his agent Jonny Geller, via The Guardian, le Carré had been working on the novel on and off before The Pigeon Tunnel and had recently completed it, giving permission for its publication before his death in December of 2020.
Geller also mentions that le Carré had been working on another novel that hadn’t been completed but that we might see in some form. In addition there are various other bits and pieces they have been archiving since his death.
John le Carré completed a novel – Silverview – before he died and it will be published, globally, in October on what would have been his 90th birthday.— Jonny Geller (@JonnyGeller) May 19, 2021
The only sadness was I couldn’t call him to say how much I loved it.https://t.co/1MlHQwM5EE
In a Penguin press release one of le Carré’s sons says –
“This is the authentic le Carré, telling one more story,” said Nick Cornwell, le Carré’s youngest son and the novelist Nick Harkaway. “The book is fraught, forensic, lyrical, and fierce, at long last searching the soul of the modern Secret Intelligence Service itself. It’s a superb and fitting final novel.”
While there had been rumblings of him working on something before his passing; seeing a fully finish novel appear so soon after his passing, it will be published the week he would have had his 90th birthday, is extremely surprising.
After Silverview, will we see this other manuscript he was working on appear, perhaps finished by Harkaway, himself a well regarded novelist? Or will we see a collection of some of his short essays, lectures and perhaps an unpublished short story or two? There were certainly enough pieces he wrote over the years that completists would appreciate being collected.
It’s currently available for preorder from Waterstones. Here’s the synopsis-
In Silverview John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years – the secret world itself.
Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian’s evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian’s family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.
When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . .
Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In his inimitable voice John le Carré, the greatest chronicler of our age, seeks to answer the question of what we truly owe to the people we love.
More to come.