A former operative for the CIA, Charles McCarry (b. 1930) is America’s most revered author of espionage fiction. Born in Massachusetts, McCarry began his writing career in the army, as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes. In the 1950s he served as a speechwriter for President Eisenhower before taking a post with the CIA, for which he traveled the globe as a deep cover operative. He left the Agency in 1967, and set about converting his experiences into fiction. His first novel, The Miernik Dossier (1971), introduced Paul Christopher, an American spy who struggles to balance his family life with his work. McCarry has continued writing about Christopher and his family for decades, producing ten novels in the series to date. A former editor-at-large for National Geographic, McCarry has written extensive nonfiction, and continues to write essays and book reviews for various national publications. Ark (2011) is his most recent novel.