I was born in Dublin, Ireland, 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 11 novels for adults, a short story collection and 6 novels for younger readers, including The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas which was a New York Times no.1 Bestseller and was adapted for a feature film, a play, a ballet and an opera, selling around 10 million copies worldwide. Among my most popular books are The Heart’s Invisible Furies and A Ladder to the Sky.
I’m a regular book reviewer for The Irish Times and have been a judge for the Hennessy Literary Awards. the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Green Carnation Prize. In 2015, I chaired the jury for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in Canada and am currently a judge for both the 2019 Costa Novel Award and the 2019 Costa Book of the Year Award.
In 2012, I was awarded the Hennessy Literary ‘Hall of Fame’ Award for my body of work. I’ve also won 3 Irish Book Awards, and many 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 over 50 languages.
My latest novels are A LADDER TO THE SKY and, for younger readers, MY BROTHER’S NAME IS JESSICA.
My next novel, A TRAVELLER AT THE GATES OF WISDOM, will be published in July 2020.