I was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1971, and studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where I was awarded the Curtis Brown prize. I now offer a scholarship to Irish students undertaking the MA programme at UEA, more information about this can be found here.
I’ve published 9 novels for adults and five for younger readers, including The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas which was a New York Times no.1 Bestseller and was made into a Miramax feature film. It has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. I’m also the author of the short story collection Beneath The Earth.
I am a regular book reviewer for The Irish Times and have been a judge for both the Hennessy Literary Awards and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, as well as chairing the jury for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
In 2012, I was awarded the Hennessy Literary ‘Hall of Fame’ Award for my body of work. I have also won 3 Irish Book Awards, for Children’s Book of the Year, People’s Choice Book of the Year and Short Story of the Year. I have won a number of international literary awards, including the Que Leer Award for Novel of the Year in Spain and the Gustav Heinemann Peace Prize in Germany. In 2015, I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of East Anglia.
My novels are published in 48 languages.
My most recent adult novel, A HISTORY OF LONELINESS, is published in the UK by Doubleday and in the USA by Farrar Straus & Giroux.
My first collection of short stories, BENEATH THE EARTH, is published in the UK by Doubleday.
A new novel for younger readers, THE BOY AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN, was published in the UK/Ireland in October 2015 and will be available in the US and in foreign language editions during 2016.