Birds Without Wings is the story of a small town in Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire told in the richly varied voices of the men and women (Armenians, Christians, and Muslims) whose lives are intertwined and rooted there: Iskander, the potter and local fount of wisdom; Philotei, the Christian girl of legendary beauty, courted almost from infancy by Ibrahim the goatherd, a great love that culminates in tragedy and madness; and many more.
"Not for the faint of heart"
In the brief, golden years of the Edwardian era, the McCosh sisters - Christabel, Ottilie, Rosie, and Sophie - grow up in an idyllic household in the countryside south of London. On one side their neighbors are the proper Pendennis family, recently arrived from Baltimore. On the other side is the Pitt family. In childhood this band is inseparable, but the days of careless camaraderie are brought to an abrupt halt by the outbreak of The Great War, in which everyone will play a part.
"As good as it gets!"
Louis de Bernières, the author of the 1994 best seller Captain Corelli's Mandolin, joins Robin Morgan in the Audible Studios to talk about his latest work, Blue Dog, which is available to download as an audiobook now from Audible. It's a young adult book with appeal for all ages.
Birds Without Wings tells of the inhabitants of a small coastal town in South West Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman empire: the local Potter and fount of proverbial wisdom; a Christian girl of legendary beauty; childhood friends who play in the hills above the town, and the two holy men of different faiths, who greet each other with the words 'infidel efendi'.
It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous - and a consummate musician. When the local doctor's daughter's letters to her fiancé go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable.
Red Dog is a West Australian, a lovable friendly red kelpie who found widespread fame as a result of his habit of travelling all over Western Australia, hitching rides over thousands of miles, settling in places for months at a time and adopting new families before heading off again to the next destination and another family – sometimes returning to say hello years later.
"Can we listen to Red Dog again?"
Birds Without Wings traces the fortunes of one small community in southwest Turkey (Anatolia) in the early part of the last century, a quirky community in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully over the centuries and where friendship, even love, has transcended religious differences.
Dr Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art. Even when the Italians do invade, life isn't so bad - at first anyway. The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, whose most precious possession is his mandolin.
"Chopped to pieces - the patient is dead"
In the brief golden years of King Edward VII’s reign, Rosie McCosh and her three very different sisters are growing up in an eccentric household in Kent, with their neighbours the Pitt boys on one side and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood adventure are shadowed by the approach of war that will engulf them on the cusp of adulthood. When the boys end up scattered along the Western Front, Rosie faces the challenges of life for those left behind.
He's Chris: bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. In his 40s, he's a stranger inside the youth culture of London in the late 1970s, a stranger to himself on the night he invites a hooker into his car. She's Roza: recently moved to London, the daughter of one of Tito's partisans. She's in her 20s but has already lived a life filled with danger, misadventure, romance, and tragedy. And although she's not a hooker, when she sees Chris, she gets into his car anyway.
"A Tale of Love and Loneliness"
From the author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin; a heart-warming collection of stories inspired by life in an English village. Casting his mind back to the village where he grew up, Louis de Bernières brings us a forgotten England: where a lady might dress in plus fours, a retired general might give up wearing clothes and a spiritualist might live with her sister and the ghost of her husband. Here we find the atmosphere of those times as it was in the countryside, and the people whose lives are worth celebrating.
"Lovely collection of interwoven short stories"
Of Love and Desire is a rich collection of love poems written over a lifetime, capturing its many forms: from rapture, infatuation and urgency to sorrow, heartache and disillusion. Poetry was de Bernières' first and greatest literary love, a passion evident in the musicality and emotion of his poems, which are full of stories and the truth of lived experience.
A beautifully wrought and unlikely love story, exploring the power of storytelling. The new audiobook from the acclaimed author of Birds Without Wings and Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a love story at once raw and sweetly funny, wry and heartbreakingly sad. Chris is bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. In his forties, he's a stranger to the 1970s youth culture of London, a stranger to himself on the night he invites a hooker into his car.
Set against the backdrop of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks, Birds Without Wings traces the fortunes of one small community in south-west Anatolia - a town in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully for centuries.
When a family tragedy means Mick is sent to the outback to live with his grandpa, it looks as if he has a lonely life ahead of him. The cattle station is a tough place for a child, where nature is brutal and the men must work hard in the heat and dust. However, after a cyclone hits, things change for Mick. Exploring the floodwater, he finds a lost puppy covered in mud and half drowned. Mick and his dog immediately become inseparable as they take on the adventures offered by their unusual home and the business of growing up together.
Poetry was Louis de Bernières’ first literary love. Here the much-loved author returns us to the vivid Mediterranean landscape of his fiction. Introduced to Greek poetry while in Corfu in 1983, de Bernières’ own poems about the distant past, the erotic and the philosophical owe much to the influence of the great Alexandrian poet.