John Boyne talks to Peter Florence

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Hay Festival 2015, 

Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

The author revisits his 2008 novel, which is now read around the world. His latest book Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is the moving story of a boy’s search for his missing father during the First World War.

10+ years
John Boyne talks to Peter Florence