John Boyne

Blog: ‘My Brother’s Name is Jessica’ by John Boyne

I had no problem teaching my children to read pre-school or in nurturing their love of reading fiction. I was immensely proud of them, though I admit there was a large element of self-interest in encouraging them to early literacy. With a library at the end of our street, it was to prove a low cost and effective way of giving me a break from them, annoying little beasts that they were.

I quite liked reading the books written for their age groups before passing them on to one or other of them, as long as it was a good story that was well-written with believable characters and I didn’t have to constantly remind myself that whatever I was reading was written for youngsters, as I did with John Boyne’s latest offering. Although according to this interview, he claims not to write with a particular audience in mind, that just doesn’t ring true with this book which, of course, I only bought because people were calling for it to be boycotted. If there hadn’t been a fuss made about it, it wouldn’t have been on my radar and how depressing it is that the would-be censors of today have learned nothing from the past.

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Blog: What “trans community”?

Wot no beard?

John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and some other books, is the latest celebrity to have got on the wrong side of the trans cult and has deactivated his Twitter account. Having read the piece he wrote that provoked their ire, I was set to lay into him myself on this blog for some pretty nasty comments he made in it about Graham Linehan. But then I saw that he’d apologised, so I’m going to be a bit gentler. Just a bit.

In a recent article for the Irish Times entitled, Why I support trans rights but reject the word ‘cis’, Boyne tells us why he wrote his latest novel, My Brother’s Name is Jessica. Unsurprisingly, it is a story of a child’s acceptance of his brother, who thinks he was “born in the wrong body”. Also unsurprisingly, it’s already got a one-star review on Amazon by a trans activist, who hasn’t actually read the book because it’s not even out until later this week! (Edit: the one-star review has now been removed).

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