John Boyne (born 30 April 1971) is an Irish novelist. He is the author of eleven novels for adults and six novels for younger readers. His novels are published in over 50 languages. His 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was adapted into a 2008 film of the same name.
Boyne was born in Dublin, where he still lives to this day. His first short story was published by the Sunday Tribune and in 1993 was shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin (BA) and the University of East Anglia (MA), in 2015 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of East Anglia. He chaired the jury for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
He regards John Banville as “the world’s greatest living writer”.
In August 2020, it was noticed that Boyne’s latest novel, A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom, which takes place in the real world in the year 1 AD, contained a section in which a seamstress refers to the ingredients used to create dyes. However, the listed ingredients were entirely fictional, being taken from the 2017 videogame The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and included items such as the “silent princess” flower, “octorok eyeballs”, and “the tail of the red lizalfos”. The error was initially posted on Reddit, and after writer Dana Schwartz highlighted the segment on Twitter, theorizing that Boyne had done an Internet search for ‘how to dye clothes red’ and used the Zelda results without looking into the context, Boyne admitted his error, saying “I’ll leave it as it is. I actually think it’s quite funny and you’re totally right. I don’t remember but I must have just Googled it. Hey, sometimes you just gotta throw your hands up and say ‘yup! My bad!’”