John Boyne
John Boyne

Emirates Lit Fest interview – John Boyne

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Author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, which has sold more than six million copies worldwide and was made into a feature film.


What do you write about? I write novels, some for adults and some for young readers. Most of my novels take place in the past but explore contemporary themes.

What has been the proudest moment in your career? Publishing the novel The Absolutist, which I feel is my best work to date.

What is the sentence you would like to be remembered by? “I blame Charles Dickens for the death of my father.” The opening line of my novel This House Is Haunted.

Are you an early morning writer or a night owl? Early morning. I’m usually at my desk by 8am. I never write at night.

Whose biography would you most like to write? EM Forster’s.

What’s the most inspiring book you’ve read? The Go-Between by LP Hartley.

And the funniest? Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.

Kindle or a book? I read books. But if I’m on a long book tour, I read a Kindle as I can’t fit all the books into my luggage.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Join a writing group. Read at least six contemporary novels and one classic novel every month. Write every day.

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