Tinker, Tailor, Novelist, Spy


It is not so surprising that so many writers have worked in intelligence. Writers create plots; spies uncover them. In a sense, all writers function like spies—observing the people around them, studying character types, becoming flies-on-the-wall for the purpose of their art.

Successful writers from Christopher Marlowe to Roald Dahl have led parallel careers in espionage. The Economist examines the similarities between the writer’s craft and spycraft.

Adam Keller is a Wesleyan graduate currently based in Oakland, California. He's a founding editor of REELYDOPE and used to write for The Argus. More from this author →