The man who wrote Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is coming to Birmingham and bringing his instrument with him.
Louis de Bernieres will be playing Bob Dylan and Serbian folk tunes when he visits the city for Birmingham Book Festival, which is run in partnership with The Birmingham Post.
His latest novel, A Partisan’s Daughter, tells of Roza, an illegal immigrant from Yugoslavia and Chris, an unhappy medical salesman who falls for her as she enchants him with her stories.
Louis, a keen musician, is part of a group called the Antonius Players, which was originally a flute trio.
When he comes to the city on Wednesday night he will bring founder member Ilone Antonius-Jones with him.
“Louis calls it shameless book promotion, but the fact is he much prefers to do writing and music rather than just talk about his writing,” says Ilone. “It’s quite a medley. We put in pieces that we found and liked and were suitable for parts of the book.
“We do a set, about three or four pieces, and then he talks about how his book came about, then we finish with a set of music, have the interval and do the same in the second half.
“The feedback that we’ve had is very positive. It’s light hearted and people enjoy it.”
Ilone has known Louis for about 20 years. They met when they were both supply teachers at a South London comprehensive.
“People who come along wanting to see Louis get to see another side of him through this,” says Ilone.
“And in general the arts compliment each other. I much prefer going to a festival that has all aspects of art in it rather than just one type. You can create a certain mood and then hopefully support it with a piece of music.
“There’s quite a bit of banter and communication – a bit of audience participation. It’s all fun.”
Louis and Ilone will be performing at Birmingham Conservatoire, Paradise Place, Near the Central Library, B3 3HG at 8.30pm on Wednesday 22 October.
Tickets cost £8 (£6) and can be bought through Box Office on 0121 303 2323. For more details visit www.birminghambookfestival.org