Stella Rimington

Stella Rimington

Stella Rimington is the latest in a literary club that boasts the likes of Graeme Greene and John Le Carre as members: spooks turned spy novelists. Dubbed ‘housewife superspy’ when she was appointed director general of MI5, she was the first woman in the world to lead a major spy agency. Liz Carlyle, the intelligence officer heroine of her six novels, brings spy-lit up to date, out-thinking her enemies rather than shooting them. Her latest is Rip Tide, an adventure involving Somali pirates and Islamic terrorists.

Rimington joined us at the Comedy Theatre, speaking with Michael Cathcart of Radio National’s Books and Arts Daily. Their conversation covered Rimington’s life before, during and after her time at MI5, including:


Portrait of Sarah L'Estrange

Sarah L'Estrange

Sarah L’Estrange is a producer on Books and Arts Daily, ABC Radio National.

Portrait of Michael Cathcart

Michael Cathcart

Michael Cathcart presents the radio show, Books and Arts Daily for Radio National.

Portrait of Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents and spent his childhood first in Tripoli and then in Cairo. His first novel, In the Country of Men, was published in 2006 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Guardian First Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US. The Return, his latest work of non-fiction, won a Pulitzer Prize for biography or autobiography.

Portrait of Stella Rimington

Stella Rimington

Dame Stella Rimington joined the Security Service (MI5) in 1968 and was appointed Director General in 1992, the first woman to hold the post. Her latest novel is Rip Tide.

Listen to Stella Rimington