Louis de Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin which won the Commonwealth Writer's Price for Best Novel, came to St Peters in the Wood Church in Appleshaw, to read poems and extracts from his book.
Before he began his readings, Louis de Bernieres said that the proceeds from the evening would go towards the Andover Contact Centre, and towards restoring the fabric of St Peters Church in Appleshaw. He explained that, after becoming separated from his wife, Contact Centres had played an important role in maintaining contact between him and his children, which was why he was anxious to raise funds for the movement which got no support from Central Government.
Louis de Bernieres read from his sixth novel, Birds Without Wings, which came out in 2004, as well as reading from a number of his poems. Appleshaw Church was full for the event, which was attended by the newly installed Bishop of Basingstoke, David Williams, and the local Rector, Ian Tomlinson, who introduced Louis de Bernieres. "This was a very moving evening, particularly when he read from his book English Village Stories, which resonated with people in and around the village of Appleshaw. Louis was good enough, after his readings, to answer questions from the audience, when he explained that he had no difficulty writing. If writers found it difficult to write, he suggested that they should find another job!"