An e’ and he’s a she

CHRIS BISHOP Was one of East Anglia's greatest living authors sending out a coded message that he would be getting in touch with his feminine side...?

CHRIS BISHOP

Was one of East Anglia's greatest living authors sending out a coded message that he would be getting in touch with his feminine side...?

If not, why was Louis de Bernières's name changed to Louise on the front page of the programme for the forthcoming King's Lynn Fiction Festival?

Last night, Mr de Bernières revealed that his apparent change of name was no more than a misprint, which he had spotted when a copy of the festival programme arrived in yesterday's post.


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"It's not a very common name in English and people do assume that it's really Louise," he said.

"I think most people will realise that it's me and not my sister. It has happened an awful lot in the past in ordinary life, but this is the first time with a literary festival."

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Festival organiser Anthony Ellis, a Lynn-based solicitor, was aghast when the gender blunder was pointed out to him by the EDP.

"Oh dear, oh dear – I told the chap to change it, I don't know how this got in," he said. "Now it's gone out to everyone. I'll have to just go out and shoot myself."

Mr de Bernières was quick to reassure him there was no harm done.

"I feel a little sorry for Tony Ellis, who must be a bit embarrassed about it, but it doesn't bother me," he said.

"If there is a request from me, it would be for him to only shoot himself in the foot and not in the head."

Mr de Bernières is correctly referred to as Louis on page three of the programme, of which 6000 copies have been printed.

Many have already been sent out to the media and festival supporters to promote the event.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin author Mr de Bernières, who lives in a village near Harleston, in south Norfolk, is headlining the festival's Saturday- night slot, at King's Lynn Town Hall, on March 12.

He will be appearing alongside fellow Norfolk authors James Buchan and William Rivière and all three will conduct readings from their latest works.

Other attractions at the £35-a-ticket weekend include festival regular Dame Beryl Bainbridge, Julian Rathbone and Jane Gardam.

Mr de Bernières's London publicist Geraldine D'Amico said: "I hope he'll see the funny side of it. If you've read his novels, you'll see he doesn't need to work on his feminine side."

The festival, supported by Hawkins Solicitors and West Norfolk Council, will be staged at Lynn Town Hall from Friday, March 11 to Sunday, March 13. Events are priced at £8.50 each, with weekend season tickets at £35.

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