VJ Books Presents Author Charles McCarry!
(1930-2019) served in the United States Army, where he was a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, has been a small-town newspaperman, and was a speechwriter in the Eisenhower administration. From 1958 to 1967 he worked for the CIA, under deep cover in Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, his cover was not as a writer or journalist. He is married with four grown sons. His family is from the Berkshires area of western Massachusetts, where he currently lives.
McCarry was editor-at-large for National Geographic and has contributed pieces to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other national publications. He is an admirer of the work of W. Somerset Maugham, especially the Ashenden stories. He was also an admirer of Richard Condon, author of The Manchurian Candidate, Prizzi's Honor and numerous other novels.
His novels, which are highly regarded for their expertise and literary quality, are currently being reprinted by Overlook Press, starting with
Tears of Autumn, republished in 2005. Charles N. Brown, the publisher of Locus, which primarily addresses the science-fiction publishing world, wrote in the July 2006 issue: "Two Charles McCarry hardcover reprints from Overlook... aren't really SF or fantasy, but they are two of the best spy thrillers ever written and form a secret or alternate history of the 20th century."
McCarry is best known for a series of books concerning the life of super spy Paul Christopher. Born in Germany before WWII of a German mother and an American father, Christopher joins the CIA after the war and becomes one of its most effective spies. After launching an unauthorized investigation of the Kennedy assassination, Christopher becomes a pariah to the agency and a hunted man. Eventually he spends ten years in a Chinese prison before being released and embarking on a solution to the mystery that has haunted him his entirely life: the fate of his mother who disappeared at the beginning of WWII. The books are notable for their historical detail and attention to the details of spycraft as well as their careful and extensive examination of Christopher's relationship with his family, friends, wives, and lovers.
Also notable are two books having to do with Paul Christopher's American cousins, Horace and Julian Hubbard:
The Better Angels and Shelly's Heart. These surprisingly prescient books tell the story of a U.S. President who approves the assassination of the leader of an oil-rich Arab nation who has acquired nuclear arms and intends to pass them onto a terrorist organization. When news of this threatens to ruin the President's chances for re-election, the Hubbards conspire to steal the election. In Shelly's Heart, the conspiracy is revealed and the newly re-elected President is impeached and placed on trial in the Senate with surprising results. Both books are written with a great deal of Washington insider knowledge and the political ins-and-outs of the latter novel are breathtaking. The film Wrong is Right (1982) starring Sean Connery was loosely based on his novel, The Better Angels.
Charles McCarry Bibliography:
Paul Christopher Series
1. The Miernik Dossier (1971)
2. The Tears of Autumn (1974)
3. The Secret Lovers (1977)
4. The Last Supper (1983)
5. Second Sight (1991)
6. The Old Boys (2004)
7. Christopher's Ghosts (2007)
Double Eagle (1979)
The Better Angels (1979)
The Bride of the Wilderness (1988)
Shelley's Heart (1995)
Lucky Bastard (1998)
Citizen Nader (1972)
Great Southwest (1980)
Paths of Resistance: The Art and Craft of the Political Novel (1989) (with Isabel Allende, Marge Piercy, Robert Stone and Gore Vidal)
Inner Circles: How America Changed the World : a Memoir (1992) (with Alexander M Haig, Jr)
From the Field: A Collection of Writings from National Geographic (1997)