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Category Archives: The House of Special Purpose
I’m in Helsinki for the next few days, courtesy of my Finnish publisher Bazar, to attend the Helsinki Book Fair where I will be giving interviews, readings and doing various bits of promotion for the recently published TARKOIN VARTIOITU TALO (The House of Special Purpose) and NOOA NOTKONIITTY KARKAA KOTOA (Noah Barleywater Runs Away).
If you happen to be in Helsinki and would like to hear one of the readings, public interviews or just get your book signed, check out the times on the website.
The German edition of THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE has been shortlisted for the ‘Leserpreis‘, a German award for the best novel of the year. And it’s a public vote! If you feel so inclined, you can vote for it here.
I arrived in Germany last Friday for the German book tour to promote THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE. I’ve been here only twice before, once for the Cologne Literary Festival about 3 years ago and once for the Jewish Film Festival in Berlin in 2009, which was the last stop on our STRIPED PYJAMAS movie book tour.
This time around I get to visit 7 cities – well one of them, Zurich, is of course in Switzerland – and I started on Friday night in Gutersloh where I was hosted in a wonderful bookshop, the oldest building in the city.
My weekend was free and I spent it in Leipzig which is a beautiful town. Monday time I gave a reading in Lehmanns bookstore in the center of Leipzig. All the dates on this tour will include a German reader alongside me – I read a passage from the book in English, he reads a passage in German, then we share a final passage in two languages.
I’ll be in Germany and Switzerland for the next 9 days visiting 7 different cities to read from and discuss THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE / DAS HAUS ZUR BESONDEREN VERWENDUNG. So if you happen to be in Germany, do come along! All details of dates and times can be found on my German publishers Arche-Verlag’s website but in a nutshell they’re:
Friday, 22. Oktober 2010, 20 Uhr
Buchhandlung Markus, Gütersloh
Monday, 25. Oktober 2010, 20.15 Uhr
Lehmanns Buchhandlung, Leipzig
Tuesday, 26. Oktober 2010, 20.15 Uhr
Mayersche Buchhandlung, Düsseldorf
Wednesday, 27. Oktober 2010, 19 Uhr
Lew Kopelew Forum, Köln
Thursday, 28. Oktober 2010, 20.30 Uhr
Buchhandlung Hugendubel, München
Friday, 29. Oktober 2010, 20.30 Uhr
Buchhandlung Heymann, Hamburg
Saturday, 30. Oktober 2010, 20 Uhr
Orell Füssli Bookshop, Zürich
I’ll be undertaking an 8 city book tour of Germany at the end of October and dates and venues for the readings are announced today. (Actually it’s seven cities in Germany and one in Switzerland.) At each event I’ll be reading from the recently published German language edition of THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE, which is published by Arche-Verlag under the title DAS HAUS ZUR BESONDEREN VERWENDUNG.
The dates and cities are:
Thu Oct 21, 8 pm TUBINGEN
Buchhandlung Osiander, Wilhelmstasse 12
Fri Oct 22, 8 pm GUTERSLOH
Buchhandlung Markus, Munsterstrasse 9
Mon Oct 25, 8:15 pm LEIPZIG
Lehmanns Buchhandlung, Grimmaische Str. 10
Tue Oct 26th, 8:!5 pm DUSSELDORF
Mayersche Buchhandlung, Konigsallee 18
Wed Oct 27th, 7 pm COLOGNE
Lew Kopelew Forum, Neumarkt `8a
Thu Oct 28th, 8:30 pm MUNICH
Buchhandlung Hugendubel, Theatinerstrasse 11
Fri Oct 29th, 8:30 pm HAMBURG
Buchhandlung Heymann, Eppendorfer Landstrasse 77
Sat Oct 30th, 8 pm ZURICH
Orell Fussli Bookshop, Bahnhofstrasse 70
I took part in a webchat for an hour this evening with readers and book groups, mostly concerned with THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE. Lots of interesting questions and you can read a transcript of the entire thing here.
The UK paperback edition of THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE is published this week. The novel received some great reviews when it was published last year: An exciting, fast-paced story… absorbing and richly satisfying (The Times); Boyne writes with consummate ease, and is particularly good at drawing the indecently rich world of the pre-revolutionary Romanovs (Independent); An engrossing read (The Mail on Sunday); A work that chimes perfectly with our times (The Irish Times); A wonderful, many-layered novel written with thought and tenderness (Irish Examiner). National Book Award winner Colum McCann said “John Boyne brings a completely fresh eye to the most impotant stories… He guides us through the realm of history and makes the journey substantial, poignant, real. He is one of the great craftsmen in contemporary literature.”
It’s already been on the bestseller charts in several countries and is published or due to be published in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada (Doubleday), Catalan (Grup 62), Holland (Arena), Spain (Salamandra), Brazil (Companhia das Letras), China (Tianjin Huawentianxia), Germany (Arche-Atrium), Italy (Rizzoli), Poland (Swiat Ksiazki), Serbia (Serbia), Switzerand (Arche), Taiwan (Crown) and Turkey (Dogan).
I was in London over the last day or two for a couple of interesting interviews. The first took place at Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank, an interview with the BBC World Service as part of their ‘World Book Club’ programme. This programme has been running for about 5 years and encourages people around the globe to read the same book at the same time – this month’s book was THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS. Harriett Gilbert conducted the interview and questions were taken from the audience of about 100 who were gathered to listen to the recording as well as from emails and phone questions that had come in in advance from places as far away as Nigeria, the Crimea and America. Thanks to all those who participated. The programme goes out on March 6th and will be kept on the World Service website after that.
Then, this morning, I was at Sky Arts to take part in The Books Show with Mariella Frostrup. We were discussing THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE, the paperback of which will be published in the UK in April. The other guests were Shirley Williams and Joshua Ferris. As well as discussing our new books, we also spoke about our favourite book of the last decade – Josh chose THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy, I chose THE ROAD HOME by Rose Tremain and Shirley (declining to choose another ‘Road’ title) went for THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, which was quite a surprise for me, and indeed for her as she had not realised that I was also going to be a guest on the show. But it was a tremendous honour to meet her, and Josh, whose first novel THEN WE CAME TO THE END I admired very much. That sentence seems a bit convoluted but there we are.
In other news, I was at my publisher’s office yesterday morning recording some video pieces for use on the Random House website soon and it involved me barking like a dog. This might seem strange but the reason why will be revealed soon. Towards the end of March, to be precise…
A couple of months ago I visited The Hermitage museum in Amsterdam, a sister-museum of the Hermitage in St Petersburg where I wrote much of THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE. I was in Holland to promote HET WINTERPALEIS, which is the title of the Dutch edition of the novel, published by Arena. It’s been in the bestsellers chart there since before Christmas and has just moved into a 5th reprint. I absolutely love Amsterdam – I visited for the first time in my early 20s, then again about a decade later, but I’ve been back a few times over the last few years promoting each of my last few books and I never get tired of the city.
One of the things I did there this time was take part in a television programme, wandering around the Hermitage discussing the book and looking at some of the exhibitions. The programme was aired in Holland a couple of nights ago and you can watch it here.
I was in Amsterdam yesterday for a press day to mark the publication of the Dutch language edition of THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE, entitled Het Winterpaleis in the Netherlands and Belgium and published by Arena.
Among the interviews I did was a television programme which was filmed in the Hermitage Museum, Amsterdam, a sister-museum of the Hermitage in St Petersburg, where I wrote much of the book in 2007 and revisited for a reading last month. I didn’t know that there even was a Hermitage in Amsterdam until my schedule came through, although in fairness it has only been open a few months. It’s a fascinating place though, a former nursing home turned into a museum and which displays collections on loan from Russia. Definitely worth visiting if in the city.