In Mr Wilder & Me, a novel that is at once a tender coming-of-age story and an intimate portrait of one of cinema’s most intriguing figures, Jonathan Coe turns his gaze on the nature of time and fame, of family and the treacherous lure of nostalgia.
In the heady summer of 1977, a naïve young woman called Calista sets out from Athens to venture into the wider world. On a Greek island that has been turned into a film set, she finds herself working for the famed Hollywood director Billy Wilder, about whom she knows almost nothing.
While Calista is thrilled with her new adventure, Wilder himself is living with the realization that his star may be on the wane. Rebuffed by Hollywood, he has financed his new film with German money, and when Calista follows him to Munich for the shooting of further scenes, she finds herself joining him on a journey into the dark heart of his family history.
‘Coe is a writer of uncommon decency’ Observer
The Writing on the Wall
I harbour – perversely, you might think – the fondest memories of two much maligned phenomena: the 1970s and Birmingham. I was lucky, of course. I had a relatively pleasant, carefree adolescence,...Read more