John Irving

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John Irving

Goodreads Author


in Exeter, New Hampshire, The United States



Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

member since
September 2011

About this author

John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. The World According to Garp, which won the National Book Award in 1980, was John Irving’s fourth novel and his first international bestseller; it also became a George Roy Hill film. Tony Richardson wrote and directed the adaptation for the screen of The Hotel New Hampshire (1984). Irving’s novels are now translated into thirty-five foreign languages, and he has had nine international bestsellers. Worldwide, the Irving novel most often called “an American classic” is A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989)—the portrayal of an enduring friendship at that time when the Vietnam War had its most divisive effect on the United States.

In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National W

Average rating: 3.96 · 666,149 ratings · 27,529 reviews · 92 distinct works · Similar authors
A Prayer for Owen Meany
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 201,373 ratings — published 1989 — 110 editions
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The World According to Garp
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 148,684 ratings — published 1978 — 133 editions
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The Cider House Rules
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 109,199 ratings — published 1985 — 94 editions
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The Hotel New Hampshire
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 42,265 ratings — published 1981 — 70 editions
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A Widow for One Year
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 42,023 ratings — published 1998 — 86 editions
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The Fourth Hand
3.27 of 5 stars 3.27 avg rating — 21,091 ratings — published 2001 — 67 editions
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Until I Find You
3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 18,643 ratings — published 2005 — 57 editions
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Last Night in Twisted River
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 16,749 ratings — published 2009 — 55 editions
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In One Person
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 16,968 ratings — published 2011 — 56 editions
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A Son of the Circus
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 13,914 ratings — published 1994 — 57 editions
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November 2009, John Irving
"For 12 novels the last sentence has come first, and not even the punctuation has changed. From that last sentence I make my way in reverse through the plot, because there always is a plot—I love plot—to where I think the story should begin." ...More

more interviews »

John's Recent Updates

date: November 30, 2011 04:30PM
location: Princeton University, 185 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ, The United States
description: John Irving will read from his new novel, In One Person, due out from Simon & Schuster in May 2012. The reading will be held in the James M. Stewart Theater at 185 Nassau Street.
More of John's books…
“If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

“When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

“You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.”
John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire


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