“People used to wish that life could be as it is in books—that it could have the beauty, drama, and shapeliness that writers gave it. Today, by contrast, we hope desperately that life is not really like our writers portray it; in other words, we hope that writers are not representative men and women, but unfit beings whose perceptions are filtered through their unhealth. It is necessary to hope this, because if life were as it appears in our literature it would be unlivable.” Adam Kirsch explores the downside of literary nostalgia.
The Guardian has a beautiful multimedia feature in celebration of John le Carré's new memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, including an exclusive excerpt, original notes from the author's archives, and readings of his novels by Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Damien Lewis et al. Read also: our own Emily St. John Mandel on using le Carré for literary cover.