Jonathan Coe at Border Kitchen in The Hague

Discussing his new book Mr Wilder and Me.

In the summer of 1977, a naïve young woman called Calista sets out for a trip around the world. Travelling through the United States, she ends up on a Greek island that has been turned into a film set. There she ends up working for the famous director Billy Wilder, about whom she knows next to nothing. But the time she spends in this luxurious, unfamiliar place will change her life for good. While Calista enjoys her adventure, Wilder realizes that his star is on the wane. Rebuffed by Hollywood, he had his new film financed by German producers. When Calista follows him to Munich to shoot some extra scenes, she finds herself joining him on a journey into the dark heart of Wilder’s family history.

Mr Wilder and Me is at once a tender coming-of-age story and an intimate portrait of one of cinema’s most intriguing figures. The British master storyteller Jonathan Coe writes captivatingly about the passage of time and fame, the importance of family, and the dangerous appeal of nostalgia.


Jonathan Coe (Birmingham, 1961) is the author of many highly successful novels, including What a Carve Up!, The House of Sleep, The Rotters’ Club, The Closed Circle, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim and Expo 58. His biography of the author B. S. Johnson was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize. Jonathan Coe lives and works in London.

He will be interviewed by film freak, film critic and book lover Gerlinda Heywegen.

Photo: Caroline Irby

Books from Jonathan Coe can be purchased via our partner De Vries Van Stockum Den Haag.

When: Wednesday 2nd of June at 20.00 

Where: Zoom and on our YouTube channel

Cost: Free

To join us, please register via this link:

Or watch us Live on YouTube.