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John Boyne - Author

About the Author

John Boyne was our Guest Editor in May 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

 

John Boyne was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1971, and studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown prize.


His early writing consisted mostly of short stories and he published a number of them. His first story, The Entertainments Jar, was shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award in Ireland. In total, he has published about 70 short stories.


He has published seven novels: THE THIEF OF TIME (2000), THE CONGRESS OF ROUGH RIDERS (2001), CRIPPEN (2004), THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS (2006), NEXT OF KIN (2006), MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (2008) and THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE (2009).


His 2006 novel, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, was made into an award-winning Miramax film. The novel itself won 2 Irish Book Awards, the Bisto Book of the Year, and was shortlisted or won a host of international awards. Amongst other accolades, it spent more than 80 weeks at no.1 in Ireland, topped the New York Times Bestseller List, and was the bestselling book in Spain in both 2007 and 2008. Worldwide, it has sold more than 5 million copies and was the 6th highest selling novel of 2008.


His novels are published in 42 languages.

He lives in Dublin.

 

Featured books by John Boyne

Beneath the Earth

Beneath the Earth

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

Drawing on a host of enthralling characters - a farmer, a cuckold and a teenager exploring his sexuality; good parents, bad parents, writers and soldiers; a student, a rent boy and a hitman - Boyne examines the hopeful and the damaged without prejudice or judgement. This, his first collection of short stories, is some of John Boyne's finest writing to date. It includes 'Rest Day' which won the 2015 Writing.ie Short Story of the Year award in Ireland.

ebook of the month
Beneath the Earth

Beneath the Earth

Author: John Boyne Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/08/2015

The secrets we keep and the ways in which they shape us, the impossibility of shared loss, the lengths we will go to in order to protect our families and the distance we will run to protect ourselves. This, his first collection of short stories, is some of John Boyne's finest writing to date. It includes 'Rest Day' which won the 2015 Writing.ie Short Story of the Year award in Ireland.

ebook of the month
A History of Loneliness

A History of Loneliness

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

Odran Yates enters Clonliffe Seminary in 1972 after his mother informs him that he has a vocation to the priesthood. He goes in full of ambition and hope, dedicated to his studies and keen to make friends. Forty years later, Odran's devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people's faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks. But when a family tragedy opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within a once respected institution and recognise his own complicity in their propagation. It has taken John Boyne fifteen years and twelve novels to write about his home country of Ireland but he has done so now in his most powerful novel to date, a novel about blind dogma and moral courage, and about the dark places where the two can meet. At once courageous and intensely personal, A History of Loneliness confirms Boyne as one of the most searching chroniclers of his generation.

ebook of the month
A History of Loneliness

A History of Loneliness

Author: John Boyne Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/09/2014

Odran Yates enters Clonliffe Seminary in 1972 after his mother informs him that he has a vocation to the priesthood. He goes in full of ambition and hope, dedicated to his studies and keen to make friends. Forty years later, Odran's devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people's faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks. But when a family tragedy opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within a once respected institution and recognise his own complicity in their propagation. It has taken John Boyne fifteen years and twelve novels to write about his home country of Ireland but he has done so now in his most powerful novel to date, a novel about blind dogma and moral courage, and about the dark places where the two can meet. At once courageous and intensely personal, A History of Loneliness confirms Boyne as one of the most searching chroniclers of his generation.

This House is Haunted

This House is Haunted

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/04/2014

1867. On a dark and chilling night Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor. It is the start of a journey into a world of abandoned children, unexplained occurrences and terrifying experiences which Eliza will have to overcome if she is to survive the secrets that lie within Gaudlin's walls.

ebook of the month
Next of Kin

Next of Kin

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/09/2012

Owen Montignac has run up huge gambling debts and casino boss Nicholas Delfy has given him a choice: find GBP50,000 by Christmas - or find yourself six feet under. So when Owen discovers that he has been cut out of his late uncle's will in favor of his beautiful cousin Stella, it is time to prove just how cunning he can be...And Owen is nothing if not inventive - even a royal crisis can provide the means for profit. And for murder...

ebook of the month

Other books by John Boyne

Penguin Readers Level 4: The Boy in Striped Pyjamas (ELT Graded Reader)

Penguin Readers Level 4: The Boy in Striped Pyjamas (ELT Graded Reader)

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2020

Penguin Readers is an ELT graded reader series for learners of English as a foreign language. With carefully adapted text, new illustrations and language learning exercises, the print edition also includes instructions to access supporting material online. Titles include popular classics, exciting contemporary fiction, and thought-provoking non-fiction, introducing language learners to bestselling authors and compelling content. The eight levels of Penguin Readers follow the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR). Exercises at the back of each Reader help language learners to practise grammar, vocabulary, and key exam skills. Before, during and after-reading questions test readers' story comprehension and develop vocabulary. Visit the Penguin Readers website Exclusively with the print edition, readers can unlock online resources including a digital book, audio edition, lesson plans and answer keys.

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom

Author: John Boyne Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/07/2020

Some stories are universal. They play out across human history. And time is the river which will flow through them. For now this is a family story and this family is is a father, mother and two sons. One with his father's violence in his blood. One who lives his mother's artistry. One leaves. One stays. They will be joined by others whose deeds will change their fate. It is a beginning. Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years - they will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From distant Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium to modern day American and beyond. While the world mutates around them, their destinies will remain the same. And fulfilling a destiny may take lifetimes... A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom is the extraordinary new novel from acclaimed writer John Boyne. Ambitious, far-reaching and mythic, it introduces a group of characters whose lives we will come to know and will follow through time and space until they reach their natural conclusion.

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/07/2020

Some stories are universal. Some are unique. They play out across human history, and time is the river that flows through them. This story starts with a family. For now, it is a father and a mother with two sons. One with his father's violence in his blood. One with his mother's artistry. One leaves. One stays. They will be joined by others whose deeds will determine their fate. It is a beginning. Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years. They will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium and journeying across fifty countries to a life amongst the stars in the third, the world will change around them, but their destinies remain the same. It must play out as foretold. From the award-winning author of The Heart's invisible Furies comes The Shadow of My Shadow, an epic tale of humanity.

My Brother's Name is Jessica

My Brother's Name is Jessica

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/2020

'...this poignant and disarming story is full of heart and its crescendo will give you tingles' Attitude Magazine 'Outstanding' Irish Examiner Sam has known his sister Jessica all his life. Tonight is the first time they're going to meet. Sam Waver has always been a loner: bullied, struggling at school, with parents who have very little time for him. The one person he has always been able to rely on is his beloved older sibling - but when they announce that they are transitioning, Sam's life is thrown upside down. He's convinced nothing will ever be the same again - but as Sam is about to discover, nothing is more constant than love. A moving and heartfelt portrait of one family's journey to acceptance, from a master storyteller. 'A story with so much heart that the pages practically pulse. Both funny and moving... this is a must-read for all ages' Irish Independent

My Brother's Name is Jessica

My Brother's Name is Jessica

Author: John Boyne Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/04/2019

'...this poignant and disarming story is full of heart and its crescendo will give you tingles' Attitude Magazine 'Outstanding' Irish Examiner Sam has known his sister Jessica all his life. Tonight is the first time they're going to meet. Sam Waver has always been a loner: bullied, struggling at school, with parents who have very little time for him. The one person he has always been able to rely on is his beloved older sibling - but when they announce that they are transitioning, Sam's life is thrown upside down. He's convinced nothing will ever be the same again - but as Sam is about to discover, nothing is more constant than love. A moving and heartfelt portrait of one family's journey to acceptance, from a master storyteller. 'A story with so much heart that the pages practically pulse. Both funny and moving... this is a must-read for all ages' Irish Independent

My Brother's Name is Jessica

My Brother's Name is Jessica

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/04/2019

'John Boyne made his name with The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and he's on stellar form in My Brother's Name is Jessica.' Daily Express Sam Waver's life has always been pretty quiet. A bit of a loner, he struggles to make friends, and his busy parents often make him feel invisible. Luckily for Sam, his older brother, Jason, has always been there for him. Sam idolises Jason, who seems to have life sorted - he's kind, popular, amazing at football, and girls are falling over themselves to date him. But then one evening Jason calls his family together to tell them that he's been struggling with a secret for a long time. A secret which quickly threatens to tear them all apart. His parents don't want to know and Sam simply doesn't understand. Because what do you do when your brother says he's not your brother at all? That he's actually . . . your sister?

A Ladder to the Sky

A Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2019

'A deliciously dark tale of ambition, seduction and literary theft . . . an ingeniously conceived novel that confirms Boyne as one of the most assured writers of his generation.' Hannah Beckerman, Observer * You've heard the old proverb about ambition, that it's like setting a ladder to the sky. It can lead to a long and painful fall. If you look hard enough, you will find stories pretty much anywhere. They don't even have to be your own. Or so would-be-novelist Maurice Swift decides early on in his career. A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated author Erich Ackerman gives Maurice an opportunity. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell; whether or not he should is another matter. Once Maurice has made his name, he finds himself in need of a fresh idea. He doesn't care where he finds it, as long as it helps him rise to the top. Stories will make him famous, but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse. This is a novel about ambition. * 'Maurice Swift, the novelist protagonist of John Boyne's A Ladder to the Sky, is a bookish version of Patricia Highsmith's psychopathic antihero Tom Ripley' The Times 'A dark morality tale in the mould of Patricia Highsmith . . . consistently intriguing' Daily Mail

Stay Where You Are And Then Leave

Stay Where You Are And Then Leave

Author: John Boyne Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Part of a stunning new design partnership between Puffin and the Imperial War Museum, this is an unforgettable story from the bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. This special edition features a foreword from Eoin Colfer. The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield's father promised he wouldn't go away to fight - but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn't know where his father might be, other than that he's away on a special, secret mission. Then, while shining shoes at King's Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father's name - on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by - a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. And Alfie becomes determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place . . .

Ladder to the Sky

Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne Format: eBook Release Date: 09/08/2018

Random House presents the audiobook edition of A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, read by Richard E. Grant, Richard Cordery, Nina Sosanya and Laurence Kennedy. A psychological drama of cat and mouse, A Ladder to the Sky shows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul.If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don't even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career.A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely.Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people's stories. He doesn't care where he finds them - or to whom they belong - as long as they help him rise to the top.Stories will make him famous but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse.

Cyril Avery

Cyril Avery

Author: John Boyne Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2018

Seit seiner Geburt steht Cyril Averys Leben unter einem ungunstigen Stern. Als uneheliches Kind hat er namlich keinen Platz in der konservativen irischen Gesellschaft der 1940er Jahre. Ein exzentrisches Dubliner Ehepaar nimmt ihn in die Familie auf, doch auch dort findet er nicht das Zuhause, nach dem er sich sehnt. In dem katholischen Jungeninternat, auf das sie ihn schicken, lernt er schlielich Julian Woodbead kennen und schliet innige Freundschaft mit ihm. Bis er mehr fur den rebellischen Lebemann zu empfinden beginnt und auch dieser Halt fur ihn verloren geht. Einsam und verzweifelt verlasst Cyril letztendlich das Land - ohne zu wissen, dass diese Reise uber Amsterdam und New York ihn an den Ort fuhrt, nach dem er immer gesucht hat: Heimat.

The Heart's Invisible Furies

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/12/2017

'Compelling and satisfying... At times, incredibly funny, at others, heartrending' Sarah Winman, author of When God Was a Rabbit Forced to flee the scandal brewing in her hometown, Catherine Goggin finds herself pregnant and alone, in search of a new life at just sixteen. She knows she has no choice but to believe that the nun she entrusts her child to will find him a better life. Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or so his parents are constantly reminding him. Adopted as a baby, he's never quite felt at home with the family that treats him more as a curious pet than a son. But it is all he has ever known. And so begins one man's desperate search to find his place in the world. Unspooling and unseeing, Cyril is a misguided, heart-breaking, heartbroken fool. Buffeted by the harsh winds of circumstance towards the one thing that might save him from himself, but when opportunity knocks, will he have the courage, finally, take it?

Der Junge auf dem Berg

Der Junge auf dem Berg

Author: John Boyne Format: eBook Release Date: 24/08/2017

Seit uber 10 Jahren ein Welterfolg: Der Junge im gestreiften PyjamaMit seinem neuen Roman kehrt John Boyne in das dunkelste Kapitel unserer Geschichte zuruck.Als Pierrot seine Eltern verliert, nimmt ihn seine Tante zu sich in den deutschen Haushalt, in dem sie Dienst tut. Aber dies ist keine gewohnliche Zeit: Der zweite Weltkrieg steht unmittelbar bevor. Und es ist kein gewohnliches Haus: Es ist der Berghof - Adolf Hitlers Sommerresidenz.Schnell gerat der Junge unter den direkten Einfluss des charismatischen Fuhrers. Um ihm seine Treue zu beweisen, ist er zu allem bereit - auch zum Verrat.Ein brandaktuelles Buch in Zeiten des weltweiten Rechtsrucks."e;Unfassbar und unfassbar gut. "e; The Times"e;Ein Bravourstuck ... Uberwaltigend. "e; The Guardian"e;Die Leser werden John Boynes Botschaft begreifen: Wenn das Pierrot passieren kann, dann kann es auch uns passieren."e;Irish Indipendent"e;Erneut zwingt uns diese Parabel uber einen Jungen in Kriegszeiten dazu, uber das Beste und das Schlechteste im Menschen nachzudenken. "e; The Irish Times"e;Eine tief bewegende Parabel ... Diese erschreckende Darstellung jugendlicher Verfuhrbarkeit und Suhne klingt noch lange nach. "e;Daily Mail

Heart's Invisible Furies

Heart's Invisible Furies

Author: John Boyne Format: eBook Release Date: 22/08/2017

Named Book of the MonthClub's Book of the Year, 2017Selected one of New York Times Readers' Favorite Books of 2017From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in post-war IrelandCyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he?Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.

Here I Stand: Stories that Speak for Freedom

Here I Stand: Stories that Speak for Freedom

Author: John Boyne, Tony Birch, Sita Brahmachari Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2017

A varied and thought-provoking collection of short stories and poems for teens with a conscience, with striking cover illustrations by award-winning children's laureate Chris Riddell With contributions from Frances Hardinge, Sarah Crossan, Matt Haig, Neil Gaiman and many more. Did you know that ... government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? ... that lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? ... that Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years? Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today. Now is the time to take a stand and make a difference. Full list of contributors: Tony Birch, John Boyne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Kate Charlesworth, Sarah Crossan, Neil Gaiman, Jack Gantos, Ryan Gattis, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Jackie Kay, AL Kennedy, Liz Kessler, Elizabeth Laird, Amy Leon, Sabrina Mahfouz, Chelsea Manning, Chibundu Onuzo, Bali Rai, Chris Riddell, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Christie Watson and Tim Wynne-Jones.

Heart's Invisible Furies

Heart's Invisible Furies

Author: John Boyne Format: eBook Release Date: 09/02/2017

Random House presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne, read by Stephen Hogan. Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more. In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Author: John Boyne Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Bruno doesn't like his new house. He had to leave all his friends behind in Berlin, and there are no children to play with here - until Bruno meets Shmuel, a boy who lives on the other side of the wire fence near Bruno's house, and who wears a strange uniform of striped pyjamas. A stunning anniversary edition of John Boyne's powerful classic bestseller, with illustrations from award-winning artist Oliver Jeffers.