David John Moore Cornwell turned his brief stint working behind the scenes at Britains MI6--the U.K.'s Secret Intelligence Service, essentially its version of the CIA--into a literary career spanning over half a century, under the name John le Carre.

Though le Carre professes not to have kept detailed journals of his time in the field, in his upcoming memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel (Viking, Sept.), he describes fishing out a "mangled notebook and attempt[ing] to make sense of what I had seen or heard." Click to continue reading and see a graphical presentation of John le Carre's career.