Harlot’s Ghost. New York: Random House, 2 October. London: Michael Joseph, late October; Novel, 1310 pp., $30.
Dedication: “To Jason Epstein.” Rpt: Advance excerpts appeared in Esquire (88.5), Playboy (88.11), Story (89.10), Rolling Stone (91.4–91.6), Paris Review (91.8), Partisan Review (91.9), New York (91.11), New York Review of Books (91.13), New York Times Book Review (91.16); 16 separate excerpts, more than from any other work, are reprinted in The Time of Our Time (98.7). See 76.9, 91.27, 91.48, other 1991 entries, 92.5, 98.9.
There is a very unspoken drama in the CIA. Obviously no one is ever going to write about indiscretion in the ranks; they will feel it within the ranks, but it’s never going to get out if they can help it. I’ve always been amused by CIA novels that have this absolute immaculate secrecy governing operations. Maybe there’s one traitor, but he’s absolutely uncharacteristic of the whole. But it seems to me that the way these things really work is with the mixture of high secrecy and violations of that secrecy. (91.17)