John Boyne: ‘Irish writers are too insular’
The prolific novelist tells Patrick Freyne about being gay in pre-marriage referendum Ireland – and how the success of ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ changed his life
John Boyne: “I came out when I was 22, but . . . it would have taken me a while of knowing someone before I could confide in them something that I would have seen as slightly shameful and embarrassing.”
Jack Scanlon and Asa Butterfield in the 2008 film adaptation of Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. “I’d become this unofficial spokesman for something, and at times I wondered whether I had the right to be the spokesman . . . I would often meet Holocaust survivors and feel nervous.”
The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a very moving, often funny book about a gay man’s life across seven decades of Irish history. It made me cry, I tell its author.