The Penguin Podcast

John Boyne on The Heart's Invisible Furies

Bestselling author John Boyne joins Paul Smith in the Penguin studio to talk about his latest novel The Heart’s Invisible Furies.

John brings along objects including models of Tintin and Pinocchio, a picture of his home and a selection of his favourite books as he talks about setting his novel in his native country, attitudes towards same-sex marriage in Ireland, his lifelong stationery fetish and why you have to be a reader before you can be a writer.
 

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The Heart's Invisible Furies

John Boyne

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.

In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.

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