John Irving Biography

American author John Irving’s novels often depict characters encountering trials and difficulties. His many novels include The World According to Garp (1978), which was made into a motion picture in 1982.

John Irving, born in 1942, American author, whose novels often involve colorful characters who face difficult personal situations. John Winslow Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, and attended the Universities of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), Vienna (Austria), and New Hampshire. Irving joined the Department of English at Mount Holyoke College in 1967, and two years later his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published. This was followed by The Water-Method Man (1972) and The 158-Pound Marriage (1974).

Irving's fourth novel, The World According to Garp (1978; motion picture, 1982), which follows the tumultuous life of a writer, was such a commercial success that Irving was able to leave teaching and devote full time to writing. The book was nominated for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Irving's other works include The Hotel New Hampshire (1981; motion picture, 1984), The Cider House Rules (1985; motion picture, 1999), A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989), A Son of the Circus (1994), Trying to Save Piggy Sneed (1996), and A Widow for One Year (1998). He received an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for The Cider House Rules. His insights into the process of adapting a novel for the screen are recorded in the memoir My Movie Business (1999).

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