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H9 John Boyne talks to Donal Ryan

This event has been moved from The Guildhall to Waterstones


For almost a quarter of a century, John Boyne’s novels have been treasured by adults and young readers alike. Internationally bestselling author, John Boyne introduces Earth, the second in his quartet of intimate, interlinked novels – four individual stories with four very different narrators, which can each be read alone but whose characters’ lives intersect and overlap. He talks to fellow Irish writer, booker-prize longlisted Donal Ryan.

This gritty and complex narrative explores themes of guilt, shame and facing the consequences of one’s actions. It’s the tabloid sensation of the year: two well-known footballers standing in the dock, charged with sexual assault, a series of vile text messages pointing towards their guilt. As the trial unfolds, Evan reflects on the events that have led him to this moment. Since leaving home, his life has been a lie on many levels. He’s a talented footballer who wanted to be an artist. A gay man in a sport that rejects diversity. A defendant whose knowledge of what took place on that fateful night threatens more than just his freedom or career. The jury will deliver a verdict but, before they do, Evan must judge for himself whether the man he has become is the man he wanted to be.

The Guardian called Water, the first of the quartet, ‘an almost note-perfect piece of first-person storytelling, propulsive and deftly dramatized.’

John Boyne is the author of fifteen novels for adults, six for younger readers, and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet, and opera. His many international bestsellers include The Heart’s Invisible Furies and A Ladder to the Sky. He has won four Irish Book Awards, including Author of the Year in 2022, along with a host of other international literary prizes. His novels are published in sixty languages.

Twitter: @JohnBoyneBooks

Instagram: @JohnBoyneAuthor



H9 John Boyne talks to Donal Ryan