John Boyne

Irish Novelist

John Boyne is an Irish author who is well-known for his novels for younger readers and adults. Throughout his career, he’s had his novels published in over 50 languages. His best-known is ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.’ 

His novels are primarily categorized in the literary fiction and historical fiction genres. Most of his characters live in historically important times and places, like Germany and France, during WWII. It’s also not uncommon to find his novels narrated by children, giving readers a very unique perspective on experiences and events.

Life Facts

  • Boyne was born in Dublin, Ireland, and still lives there today.
  • He has so far published 14 novels for adults and 6 for young readers.
  • He published on short story collection in 2015, ‘Beneath the Earth.’ 
  • In 2022, he won the Author of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.

Interesting Facts

  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a New York Times no.1 Bestseller.
  • He was awarded the Hennessy Literary Hall of Fame Award for his work.
  • His work has been published in 58 languages.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has been made into a film, play, ballet, and more.

Famous Books by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is, without a doubt, Boyne’s best-known novel. Unlike other young adult novels, this book is enjoyed by readers of all ages around the world. It follows a young boy Bruno, the protagonist of the novel, who is forced to move along with his family from Germany to Poland, where his father has a new job working as the commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The novel was made into a film in 2008, two years after it was published.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies focuses on Cyril Avery, who was adopted into a family in Ireland. He spends the novel trying to make sense of his life, who he is, where he comes from, and his country.

A Ladder to the Sky is one of Boyne’s best-selling novels. It focuses on Maurice Swift, a man working in West Berlin who wants nothing more than to become famous. His pursuit of the material to write about leads him on a selfish quest for secrets.

My Brother’s Name is Jessica, although criticized by some, is one of Boyne’s best-selling novels. It follows a young boy whose older brother Jason is struggling with an important secret that he reveals to the family.

All the Broken Piece is a long-awaited sequel to ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.’ It takes readers years into the future when Gretel, Bruno’s brother, is a ninety-one-year-old woman who is still struggling with her family’s past. 


John Boyne was born in 1971 in Dublin, Ireland. John went to school at Trinity College Dublin, where he received his bachelor’s, and the University of East Anglia, where he received his master’s. Later, he was awarded his Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of East Anglia.

Literary Career

Boyne’s first short story was published in 1993 and earned him a place on the shortlist for the Hennessy Literary Award. It was followed by ‘The Thief of Time’ in 2000, ‘The Congress of Rough Riders’ in 2001, ‘Crippen’ in 2004, and ‘Next of Kin’ in 2006.

The same year he published the story of ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.’ It was his first novel for young readers and was allowed by ‘Noah Barleywater Runs Away’ in 2010. In 2015, he published his one and only short story collection, ‘Beneath the Earth.’ 

He’s received a number of prestigious literary awards, including the Irish Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year, the British Book Award, the Irish Book Awards: Short Story of the Year, and the Gustav Heinemann Peace Prize. In 2022, he was shortlisted for the Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.


It was in 1957 that Camus received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Camus died in 1960 at the age of forty-six in a car accident in the town of Villeblevin. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt and died instantly. He was buried in the Lourmarin Cemetery in Vaucluse, France.

Influence from other Writers

John Boyne was influenced by writers like John Banville, John Irving, and Charles Dickens.

Literature by John Boyne

Explore literature by John Boyne below, created by the team at Book Analysis.