Book Buzz: A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne

“A picaresque, lolloping odyssey for the individual characters and for the nation that confines them . . . ” ―The Guardian



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 among 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 Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom, an epic tale of humanity. The story of all of us, stretching across two millennia. Imaginative, unique, heartbreaking, this is John Boyne at his most creative and compelling.

“Bleak, bittersweet, and Irish to the bone . . . Explore[s] the relationship between Catholicism and patriarchy in midcentury Ireland and beyond.”
―O: The Oprah Magazine

A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne

480 Pages

ISBN 9780593230152


John Boyne is the author of twelve novels for adults, six for younger readers, and a collection of short stories. In his native Ireland, he has won three Irish Book Awards and has been shortlisted on thirteen separate occasions. He has also won or been shortlisted for a host of international literary awards, including a Stonewall Honor Award and a Lambda Literary Award. A regular participant in international literary festivals, he has also been a member of the jury for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Costa Book Award, and in 2015 he chaired the jury for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His novels have been published in over fifty languages.



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