Skip to main content

Boyne, John 1971-

Boyne, John 1971-


Born 1971, in Dublin, Ireland. Education: Attended Trinity College, Dublin; University of East Anglia, M.A., 1996.


Home—Dublin, Ireland. Agent—Simon Trewin, PFD, Drury House, 34-43 Russell St., London WC2B 5HA, England. E-mail—[email protected]


Waterstone's bookstore, Dublin, Ireland, bookseller, 1996-99, worked in head office, London, England, 1999-2000; full-time writer, 2000—. Has taught creative writing at the University of East Anglia and the Irish Writers' Centre.


Curtis Brown Prize, 1995; Writing fellowship, University of East Anglia, 2005; shortlisted for Hughes & Hughes Irish Book of the Year, 2005, for Crippen; shortlisted for Ottakar's Children's Book Prize and Paolo Ungari Prize, both 2006, for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; CBI Bisto Children's Book of the Year and Irish Book Award, 2007, for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.


The Thief of Time (novel), Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2000, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.

The Congress of Rough Riders (novel), Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2001.

Crippen: A Novel of Murder, Penguin (London, England), 2004, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: A Fable (for young adults), David Fickling Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Next of Kin, Penguin Books (London, England), 2006, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2008.

Mutiny on the Bounty: A Novel of the Bounty, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2008.

Also author of short stories. Boyne's fiction has been translated into eighteen languages.


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has been optioned for a film to be produced by David Heyman.


After studying literature in college, Irish author John Boyne took a job as a bookseller at Waterstone's in Dublin, where he found himself surrounded by a group of peers with similar dreams of careers in literature and the arts. After publishing a number of short stories, Boyne found success with his debut novel, The Thief of Time, which made the long list for the Irish Times literature prize. He followed it with The Congress of Rough Riders and Crippen: A Novel of Murder, the latter of which is based on the true story of a man who murdered his wife and then cut up her body, nearly getting away with his crime. Booklist critic Kristine Huntley called Crippen "gripping historical fare." Susan O. Moritz, writing for the Library Journal, remarked: "Boyne does an excellent job of condensing and elaborating exactly where and when he should."

Boyne's next effort is a young adult book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: A Fable. The book spent sixteen weeks at the top of the Irish best seller list, and is slated to be made into a film by Harry Potter producer David Heyman.

In 2007, The Thief of Time was released for the first time in the United States. Well-received by its new American audience, the novel follows main character Matthieu Zela, who looks to be in his forties but is really more than 250 years old. After growing up in eighteenth-century Europe, Matthieu journeys through the subsequent centuries meeting notable figures such as Charlie Chaplin, Herbert Hoover, and Pope Pius IX. He also watches over the successive generations of his brother's family, many of whom meet tragedy at a young age. Nonetheless, Matthieu enjoys his unusual life. The Thief of Time is a "lively historical saga," wrote Booklist contributor Michael Gannon. Others agreed; Boyne wrote a novel that is both "creative and entertaining," noted Laurel Bliss in a review for the Library Journal.



Booklist, March 15, 2006, Kristine Huntley, review of Crippen: A Novel of Murder, p. 30; February 1, 2007, Michael Gannon, review of The Thief of Time, p. 29.

Bookseller, August 12, 2005, Becky Stradwick, "Action for the Autumn: Becky Stradwick, Children's Buyer for Borders UK, Selects the Best Teen Titles to February 2006," p. 28; October 7, 2005, Benedicte Page, "Books by the Shelf-full: Sitting at His Desk to Write Each Day Is Former Bookseller John Boyne's Definition of the Good Life," p. 25.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2006, review of Crippen, p. 3.

Library Journal, February 1, 2006, Susan O. Moritz, review of Crippen, p. 68; December 1, 2006, Laurel Bliss, review of The Thief of Time, p. 106.

Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2006, review of Crippen, p. 34; November 20, 2006, review of The Thief of Time, p. 33.


Book Browse, (August 28, 2007), biography of John Boyne., (August 28, 2007), Colleen Quinn, review of The Thief of Time.

Curled up with a Good Book, (August 28, 2007), review of The Thief of Time.

Irish Writers Online, (August 28, 2007), biography of John Boyne.

John Boyne Home Page, (August 28, 2007).

Penguin Group Web site, (July 24, 2006), biography of John Boyne.

Reading Group Gold, (August 28, 2007), biography of John Boyne.

Sarah Webb Web site, (August 28, 2007), interview with John Boyne., (September 16, 2006), interview with John Boyne.

Writers Talk, (August 28, 2007), Mark Howie, interview with John Boyne.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Boyne, John 1971-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . 18 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Boyne, John 1971-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . (September 18, 2019).

"Boyne, John 1971-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved September 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.