The last of John le Carré's espionage novels to feature his most enduring and well-loved character, George Smiley, and a gripping feat of narrative brilliance, The Secret Pilgrim is published in Penguin Modern Classics with an afterword by the author.
The Cold War is over and Ned has been demoted to the training academy. He asks his old mentor, George Smiley, to address his passing-out class. There are no laundered reminiscences; Smiley speaks the truth - perhaps the last the students will ever hear. As they listen, Ned recalls his own painful triumphs and inglorious failures, in a career that took him from the Western Isles of Scotland to Hamburg and from Israel to Cambodia. He asks himself: Did it do any good? What did it do to me? And what will happen to us now? In this final Smiley novel, the great spy gives his own humane and unexpected answers.
If you enjoyed The Secret Pilgrim, you might like le Carré's The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'Consummate and enthralling'
Fang Lizhi, China's leading dissident intellectual, now in exile in England, lays down a gauntlet to the world's leaders: ``Appeasement of governments which revel in slaughter is an invitation to world-wide catastrophe.'' In this collection of plainspoken articles, fiery speeches, informal travel notes, scientific essays and interviews, the astrophysicist/human rights activist fully lives up to his reputation as ``China's Sakharov.'' Equally conversant with Western traditions and his own, this slightly owlish-looking freethinker strives to put China's problems within a global perspective. His critique of Deng's modernization drive--he stresses that China needs to import a new value system, not just foreign capital and technology--grows ever more timely. Within his own field, cosmologist Fang was branded a criminal for writing about the Big Bang. Here he goes even further, questioning the orthodoxy of Einsteinian space-time. These subtle, brilliant writings convey a powerful message of hope.