John Irving

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John Irving

Goodreads Author

in Exeter, New Hampshire, The United States


Dickens, Hardy, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Member Since
September 2011


JOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty-six. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven.
Mr. Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp. He received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for his short story “Interior Space.” In 2000, Mr. Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person.
An international writer—his novels have been translated into more than thirty-five languages—John Irving lives in Toronto. His all-time best-selli

Average rating: 3.98 · 853,286 ratings · 36,047 reviews · 101 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Prayer for Owen Meany

4.23 avg rating — 258,064 ratings — published 1989 — 143 editions
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The World According to Garp

4.07 avg rating — 186,354 ratings — published 1978 — 72 editions
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The Cider House Rules

4.11 avg rating — 140,917 ratings — published 1985 — 123 editions
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The Hotel New Hampshire

3.89 avg rating — 52,554 ratings — published 1981 — 38 editions
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A Widow for One Year

3.75 avg rating — 52,313 ratings — published 1998 — 98 editions
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The Fourth Hand

3.30 avg rating — 25,877 ratings — published 2001 — 83 editions
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Until I Find You

3.62 avg rating — 22,828 ratings — published 2005 — 62 editions
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Last Night in Twisted River

3.75 avg rating — 21,734 ratings — published 2009 — 66 editions
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In One Person

3.66 avg rating — 22,588 ratings — published 2012 — 61 editions
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A Son of the Circus

3.62 avg rating — 17,217 ratings — published 1994 — 72 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

“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

“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

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



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