In his latest novel, John Irving explores - in his inimitable way - the ways in which our pasts reverberate in our presents and, indeed, our futures.
John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942, and he once
admitted that he was a 'grim' child. Although he excelled in
English at school and knew by the time he graduated that he wanted
to write novels, it was not until he met a young Southern novelist
named John Yount, at the University of New Hampshire, that he
received encouragement. 'It was so simple,' he remembers. 'Yount
was the first person to point out that anything I did except
writing was going to be vaguely unsatisfying.'
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 Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, until he was thirty-four, and coached the sport until he was forty-seven). In 2000, Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules-a Lasse Hallstr m film with seven Academy Award nominations. Tod Williams wrote and directed The Door in the Floor, the 2004 film adapted from Mr. Irving's ninth novel, A Widow for One Year. In One Person is John Irving's thirteenth novel.
John Irving has three children and lives in Vermont and Toronto.
"From the first page to the last, there is a goodness to this
novel, a tenacious belief in love and the redemptive power of human
connection, unfettered by institutions and conventions. This
belief, combined with good old-fashioned storytelling, is surely
why Irving is so often described as Dickensian. But John Irving is
his own thing, and so is his new novel. Avenue of Mysteries is
thoroughly modern, accessibly brainy, hilariously eccentric and
beautifully human." -- Tayari Jones * New York Times Book Review
"Irving has packed so much detail in . . . And yet he has not run out of what has endeared him to so many for so long: immense charm, an appetite to hurtle headlong at the biggest questions and the altogether unfashionable belief that sentimentality is not a crime against art" * Guardian *
"Mischievous . . . Challenging and absorbing . . . Juan Diego emerges as one of Irving's most memorable and fascinating creations, which is saying something. He is a twenty-first century Garp." * Herald *
"Irving has embarked on his dark phase, as did Dickens. It will be interesting, if melancholy, to follow him down that gloomy avenue" * The Times *
"A typically idiosyncratic Irving novel: at times exhausting, at other times rambling and self-indulgent, but always readable, impassioned and thought-provoking" * Mail on Sunday *