John le Carré
One of the world's most respected authors of spy fiction, John le Carré is a writer who gives his work added authenticity due to his time spent working for British intelligence agencies. Recruited by MI5 when he was still known as David Cornwell, he was still in college when he began spying on leftist groups that might have Soviet associations. He eventually joined the agency full-time and began moonlighting as a novelist, later transferring to MI6. After the success of his initial espionage books, which included Call for the Dead (1961) and A Murder of Quality (1962), le Carré shifted his career entirely to writing, and it wasn't long before adaptations of his stories hit the silver screen, beginning with director Martin Ritt's lauded "The Spy Who Came In from the Cold" (1965). Reliably producing a novel every few years - sometimes featuring his most famous protagonist, George Smiley, as with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974) - le Carré remained perennially popular, though his profile was elevated during the new millennium, thanks in part to the acclaimed movies "The Constant Gardener" (2005) and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (2011), as well as his continued and consistently exceptional literary output.