Louis de Bernieres – Keynote Speaker

One of the UK's leading, bestselling novelists

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Specialist Subjects

  • Celebrity
  • Creativity


  • English


Louis de Bernières is one of the UK’s leading, bestselling novelists. His fourth novel, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” about a love story set in World War II, has now sold over 4 million copies worldwide, translated into 36 languages and has been made into a Hollywood film starring Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz.

Born in London, 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”, published in 1990, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book Eurasia Region in 1991. His second novel, “Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord”, won the same prize a year later. In 1992, he published “The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman”, which completed his ‘Latin American trilogy’. 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.

His fourth novel “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” (1994) won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and became one of the most talked about books of the decade. “Red Dog”, a novella charting the life of a popular dog in Western Australia, followed in 2002 and was made into a film with the same title.

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. He published “Notwithstanding” in 2009, a collection of stories inspired by life in the English village in which the author grew up.

Most recently, in August 2013, he has published his first collection of poetry, “Imagining Alexandria: Poems in Memory of Constantinos Cavafis”. He is currently working on a new novel.

Louis de Bernières 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.

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