In his first vel since Corelli s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres creates a world, populates it with characters as real as our best friends, and launches it into the maelstrom of twentieth-century history. The setting is a small village in southwestern Anatolia in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone there speaks Turkish, though they write it in Greek letters. It s a place that has room for a professional blasphemer; where a brokenhearted aga finds solace in the arms of a Circassian courtesan who isn t Circassian at all; where a beautiful Christian girl named Philothei is engaged to a Muslim boy named Ibrahim. But all of this will change when Turkey enters the modern world. Epic in sweep, intoxicating in its sensual detail, Birds Without Wings is an enchantment.
Louis de Bernieres s first three novels are The War of Don Emmanuel s Nether Parts (Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best First Book Eurasia Region, 1991), Se or Vivo and the Coca Lord (Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best Book Eurasia Region, 1992), and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman. The author was selected by Granta as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993. Corelli s Mandolin won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best Book, in 1995. His last book was Red Dog, published in 2001.