A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom

A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom

A Novel

John Boyne


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From the bestselling author of A Ladder to the Sky—“a darkly funny novel that races like a beating heart” (People)—comes a new novel that plays out across all of human history: a story as precise as it is unlimited.

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.


John Boyne:
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 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.