Louis de Bernières
Photograph © Ivon Bartholomew
Louis de Bernières is one of the UK's leading, bestselling novelists. Captain Corelli's Mandolin has now sold over 4 million copies worldwide, has been translated into 36 languages and was made into a Hollywood film starring Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz. Louis is an experienced speaker who is invited regularly to contribute to festivals worldwide. In discussing his own creative process, he can inspire and motivate your audience.
Louis was born in London in 1954. After graduating in Philosophy from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and passed his MA, with distinction, at the University of London. He has held various jobs: landscape gardener, mechanic, officer cadet at Sandhurst, and schoolteacher in both Colombia and England.
His first novel, The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts, was published in 1990 and the following year it won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best First Book Eurasia Region. His second novel, Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord, won the same prize a year later. Louis completed his 'Latin American trilogy' in 1992, with the publication of The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman. All three works were influenced by his experience of living and working in Colombia. In 1993, he was also selected by Granta magazine as one of the Best of Young British Novelists.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin (1994) tells of the love affair between an Italian soldier and a local Greek girl in occupied Cephallonia in World War II. It also won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and became one of the most talked about books of recent years. Red Dog, a novella charting the life of a popular dog in Western Australia, followed in 2002 and was made into a film, to be released in the UK in 2012.
Louis' next epic narrative, Birds Without Wings, was published to great critical acclaim in 2004. Set against the background of the collapsing Ottoman empire and the bitter struggle between the Greeks and Turks, it was described by the Independent on Sunday as the work of a 'mature writer, whose rage at human cruelty and stupidity is Tolstoyan'. A Partisan's Daughter (2008), set partly in 70's London and partly in wartime Yugoslavia in the early 90s, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award in 2009. This coincided with the publication of Louis' most recent work, Notwithstanding, a collection of stories inspired by life in the English village in which the author grew up.
» Louis de Bernières talks to Sir David Frost
Books by Louis de Bernières.