john le carre

7 Authors Whose Works Will Enrich Your Life

Lee Polevoi

Tessa Hadley has published many books, including a remarkable recent novel, The Past. For me, her talents shine brightest in the arena of short fiction, as in her most recent collection, Bad Dreams and Other Stories. Without resorting to prose that calls attention to itself, she tells stories in precise detail and with considerable narrative economy—often to shattering effect.

Fiction and Memory Blend Uneasily in John le Carré’s ‘Pigeon Tunnel’

Lee Polevoi

Before examining the virtues and shortcomings of The Pigeon Tunnel, it’s worth pointing out to readers who don’t already know it that le Carré is among the great writers of our time. Of his many novels, at least two (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) will endure long after most contemporary fiction has scattered like sand on a windy day. And even now, in his 80s, le Carré still produces fiction of superb craftsmanship.

Best Books of 2013

Lee Polevoi

A novelist who uses well-known historical figures in his work risks having readers judge the quality of his characterization by what they know (or think they know) about these real-life individuals. In TransAtlantic, Colum McCann takes this approach a step further by introducing Senator George Mitchell of Maine, a “character” drawn from real life. McCann succeeds in pulling it off, while simultaneously displaying the drawbacks inherent in this narrative strategy. 

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