Novelist Louis de Bernières was born in London in 1954. He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst. After graduating from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and obtained his MA at the University of London.
Before writing full-time, he held many varied jobs including landscape gardener, motorcycle messenger and car mechanic. In 1993, Louis was selected as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists 2’ promotion in Granta magazine.
His fourth novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, was published in the following year, winning the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best Book). It was also shortlisted for the Sunday Express Book of the Year. Set on the Greek island of Cephalonia during the Second World War, the novel tells the story of a love affair between the daughter of a local doctor and an Italian soldier. It has become a worldwide bestseller and has now been translated into over 30 languages. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 2001, and the novel has also been adapted for the stage.
Prizes and awards
1991 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best First Book) The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts
1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best Book) Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord
1994 Sunday Express Book of the Year (shortlist) Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
1995 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
1995 Lannan Literary Award (Fiction)
1997 British Book Awards Author of the Year
2004 Whitbread Novel Award (shortlist) Birds Without Wings
2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best Book) (shortlist) Birds Without Wings
For more info on Louis visit: www.louisdebernieres.co.uk