84 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2017

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Teacher Introduction

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

  • Genre: Fiction; historical
  • Originally Published: 2017
  • Reading Level/Interest: College/Adult
  • Structure/Length: Approx. 592 pages; approx. 21 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Born in Ireland in the 1940s to an unmarried teenaged mother, Cyril Avery struggles over the course of his life to find his identity and place in the world.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Prejudice; intolerance; struggles with identity and sexuality; suicidal ideation; hate crimes; violence and death, including murder by family members; sexual content; brief mention of rape and incest in backstory details

John Boyne, Author

  • Bio: Born in Dublin, Ireland; studied at Trinity College and University of East Anglia; awarded Hennessy Literary Hall of Fame Award (2012) for body of work; represented for over 15 years on the New York Times Top 10 Bestsellers Chart for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Other Works: The Thief of Time (2000); The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2006); A History of Loneliness (2014)
  • Awards: Shortlisted for Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year; winner of the Glass Bell Award (UK)—Best Novel (2017); longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • Bearing Witness to Prejudice, Intolerance, and Hatred
  • The Strength of Women Against Misogyny
  • The Interconnected Web of Human Life
  • Loneliness as Part of the Human Condition