Explore the history of spies in literature with a focus on Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana and John Le Carré’s Our Kind of Traitor.
Discuss how narrative represents, distorts and is influenced by stories of suspicion, intrigue, deception, politics and betrayal. Learn how locale, history and time are treated in these novels.
Understand why spy fiction attracted novelists like Henry James, Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene. Whether it’s a love of secrets, a distrust of governments or a wish for revolutionary change, this genre’s enduring grip on readers is undeniable.
Ira Nadel, PhD, professor of English at The University of British Columbia, is the author of biographies of Leonard Cohen, Tom Stoppard, and David Mamet, and is currently researching a critical biography of Virginia Woolf.