New George Smiley novel from John le Carré

New George Smiley novel from John le Carré

Viking is publishing a new John le Carré novel this year, A Legacy of Spies - the first novel in over 25 years to feature British intelligence officer George Smiley.

The novel, acquired in a deal brokered by Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown, publishes on 7th September and centres on Peter Guillam, a major character in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as a staunch colleague and disciple of Smiley. According to Penguin Random House, the book will interweave past with present so that each may tell its own "intense" story. 

A Legacy of Spies sets the scene with Guillam living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany, when a letter from his old service summons him to London. Looking back on events that took place in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, set during the Cold War and involving such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Guillam himself, it seems intelligence operations are being scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War, and no patience with its justifications.

The publisher also revealed that 21 of le Carré's novels are set to become Penguin Modern Classics by 2018, representing the most extensive body of work by a living author to be awarded "classic" status. 

The BBC is adapting another John le Carre novel, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, for 2018 with screen writer, Simon Beaufoy after its success with The Night Manager, The Bookseller reported in January. The Night Manager (Penguin Classics) was shortlisted last week for the Creativity Across Media: Entertainment & Originality Award (CAMEO) in its Book-to-TV category.