Village celebrates literary coup

By Jenni DixonA VILLAGE bookshop is celebrating a coup after best-selling author Louis de Bernieres agreed to sign copies of his eagerly-awaited new novel there.

By Jenni Dixon

A VILLAGE bookshop is celebrating a coup after best-selling author Louis de Bernieres agreed to sign copies of his eagerly-awaited new novel there.

The Waveney Valley writer's new book, Birds Without Wings, is his first since the publication of the Commonwealth Writers Prize-winning Captain Corelli's Mandolin in 1994.

It will be launched next month and Mr de Bernieres will be signing copies of the book at Harleston Bookshop.


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Stephen Du Sautoy, a partner at the shop with his wife Alison, was delighted the London-born writer, who lives between Harleston and Bungay, had accepted his invitation to hold a book-signing there.

“Louis pops in quite often and I asked him if he would sign the book here and we fixed up a date. As this is his first novel for 10 years, it is quite important.”

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Mr de Bernieres' new novel is set in early 20th Century Turkey, covering the First World War and the end of the Ottoman Empire.

“That part of history has a great deal of violence such as ethnic cleansing and wars,” he said.

“There are two love stories, but the whole novel is about lots of different people - everyone from landlords to peasants - in a community that completely disappeared at that time.

“Muslims moved to Turkey, Christians to Greece. It has got half-a-dozen endings in it.”

The former soldier, teacher, cowboy, mechanic, groundsman and landscape gardener added a character from Captain Corelli's Mandolin - which was made into a film starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz - returned to the pages of the new novel, which is out on July 1.

Mr de Bernieres will be holding the first signing of Birds Without Wings at Waterstones in High Street, Kensington, London, on July 2.

He will then attend book-signings at Ottakers bookshop in Norwich on July 6 and at Harleston Bookshop on July 9 between 6pm and 8pm.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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