The author

Find out about Len Deighton and his writing career

This section is devoted to Len Deighton's life and career. An intensely private man, Deighton eschews the media limelight and rarely talks about his career as a writer and historian.

Over the course of his life Len Deighton has fulfilled many roles: writer, journalist, husband, travel writer, critic, graphic designer, air steward and philatelic expert spring immediately to mind. All these elements of his life are reflected in his writing and you'll find here pages looking at some of the resulting key themes in Deighton's writing.

You'll also find a short biography, tracing his journey from an early childhood in a London workhouse to the status of international literary giant he enjoys today. An official biography has often been mooted but never yet appeared. Writer Edward Milward-Oliver - author of the Len Deighton Companion, which is the closest thing we have yet to a biography - has told me that he is in the progress of writing the first official biography (I've also received had enquiries from journalists who claim to be working on unofficial biographies too, but nothing concrete has come of these so far).

But Deighton's life story has yet to be published and many readers who his enjoy his works are interested to find out more about the man behind the words. So in this section of the website you can read two exclusive interviews with Len, articles about how Deighton sees his own life and work, and comments from others about his contribution to popular culture.

Finally, you can find out some fascinating facts about the author who, in his mid-eighties, is still going strong and happily enjoying his retirement.

"Harry Palmer is a loner in the tradition of heroes of fiction."

Read more about Len Deighton's feelings for Harry and The Ipcress File in this 2012 interview with him - exclusive to this website - focusing extensively on his first novel, published fifty years ago.

Did you know?...

that Mötorhead's 1979 third album, Bomber, was dedicated by Lemmy to Len Deighton, as it was his epic novel Bomber that inspired the title track!

Find out other interesting facts here.


Len Deighton, March 2012 London

Food, class and bureaucracy

Read about the themes which inspired Deighton's work and which appear regularly in many of his novels and fictional works, by visiting the key themes page.