A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom

“On ​the​ night​ that ​I ​was ​born,​ my ​father, ​Marinus, ​left ​our ​home​ while​ my ​mother ​was ​in ​labour ​and, ​over ​the ​eight ​hours ​that ​followed,​ slaughtered ​a ​dozen ​infant ​boys, ​the ​sons ​of ​our ​neighbours ​and ​friends, ​each​ one under the age of two years.”

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A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom

Some stories are universal. Some are unique. They play out across human history, and time is the river that flows through them.

This story starts with a family. For now, it is a father and a mother with two sons. One with his father’s violence in his blood. One with his mother’s artistry. One leaves. One stays. They will be joined by others whose deeds will determine their fate. It is a beginning.

Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years. They will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium and journeying across fifty countries to a life amongst the stars in the third, the world will change around them, but their destinies remain the same. It must play out as foretold.

From the award-winning author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies comes A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom, an epic tale of humanity. The story of all of us, stretching across two millennia. Imaginative, unique, heart-breaking, this is John Boyne at his most creative and compelling.

Longlisted for the Wilbur Smith Prize: Best Novel 2021

  • UK: Doubleday
  • Canada: Doubleday Canada
  • Czechia: Slovart
  • Holland: Meulenhoff
  • Romania: RAO
  • Slovakia: Slovart
  • USA: Hogarth Press
  • France: JC Lattès
  • Italy: Rizzoli
  • Russia: Phantom Press