Valerie Plame Has One Regret: “I Wish I Had the Maturity and Courage to Have Pushed Back More”

Valerie Plame and Chris Pavone. (photo: Salon)

In conversation about spy novels with Chris Pavone, she says “gender bias is built into the system” at the CIA


alerie Plame Wilson was a lifelong CIA officer until her cover was spectacularly — and illegally — blown in 2003 by the Bush Administration, ending the viability of her career in intelligence. She is now an anti-nuclear-proliferation activist and espionage novelist, as well as the author of the bestseller “Fair Game,” which was turned into a major motion picture.

Chris Pavone, a longtime New York City book editor, never had a thing to do with the CIA until his wife got a job in Luxembourg, at which point he, too, began writing spy novels. His first two books, “The Expats” and “The Accident,” were both New York Times bestsellers, and “The Travelers” has just published. Here they discuss the challenges of writing espionage fiction and being a real spy versus a fake one.


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