Author Spotlight--John Irving
John Irving is a celebrated novelist known for his masterful blending
of the comic and the tragic in his endearing storytelling. Since the late
1960's, he has produced more than a dozen acclaimed works, and won an
academy award in 1999 for the screenplay version of his novel The Cider
House Rules. In addition to his literary talents, the New Hampshire native
has made a name for himself as an amateur wrestler and coach.
Actor Jack Burns draws upon his childhood years spent searching for his missing father and relating to mother, a Toronto tattoo artist, in order to deconstruct his Hollywood career and relationships with women.
When a freak circus accident leaves a down-and-out reporter without his left hand, a celebrated Boston surgeon offers to perform the world's first hand transplant. But odd circumstances arise when the donor's widow begins making some unusual requests - including visitation rights.
A story about the redeeming qualities of love, Irving's ninth novel takes place in three parts, chronicling the life of a writer whose distinguished career is fueled by bitter memories growing up in a dysfunctional household.
A whimsical and absurd tale of mystery, A Son of the Circus revolves around a physician, who upon returning to his native India to study circus dwarfs, finds himself entangled in the case of a transsexual serial killer.
11-year-old Owen Meany, a pint-sized outcast with an unusual cartoon voice, becomes convinced that he is an instrument of God when a foul ball he hits at a baseball game kills the mother of his best friend, Johnny Wheelwright. Far from separating the two boys, the tragic mishap draws them ever-closer, as Owen's sense of divine destiny unearths mysteries in Johnny's past and ultimately determines his future.
Continually passed over for adoption, orphan Homer Wells is eventually raised as heir apparent to Dr. Wilbur Larch, the director and resident obstetrician of an orphanage in rural Maine. But as Homer discovers the extent of Dr. Larch's responsibilities, he soon flees to work in a nearby cider house, where troubling moral complexities are muted by humble routine.
Narrated by the middle child of a decidedly eccentric family, this moving novel chronicles the strange and wonderful experiences they share while living in a series of hotels.
Often heralded as Irving's definitive work, The World According to Garp is a comically tragic novel about a dedicated husband and father whose life is suddenly populated with a strange assortment of characters. Featuring transsexual football players, unicylcing bears, prostitutes, schoolteachers, wrestlers, and radical feminists, Irving's fourth novel defies synopsis, but is nonetheless warm and wise.