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John Irving

In One Person is John Irving’s thirteenth novel.  His first novel, Setting Free The Bears, was published in 1968.  The World According to Garp, Irving’s fourth, won the National Book Award in 1980 and was his first international bestseller. In 2000, John Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules directed by  Lasse Hallström.

Born John Wallace Blunt, Jr., in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942, his name was changed to John Winslow Irving in 1948, when his mother remarried Colin F.N. Irving, a teacher in the History Department at Phillips Exeter Academy.  Irving graduated from Exeter in 1961; he was captain of the Exeter wrestling team, and also wrestled at the University of Pittsburgh.  John Irving later attended the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria.  He has a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a M.F.A. from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, where his mentor was Kurt Vonnegut.

In 1992, John Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  He was a competitive wrestler for twenty years and a wrestling coach until he was forty-seven.

Before the success of The World According to Garp enabled John Irving to become a full-time writer, he had several college teaching positions—not only at his alma mater in Iowa City, where he taught for three years, but also at Mt. Holyoke College and Brandeis University.

John Irving’s novels are now translated into thirty-five languages, and he has had ten international bestsellers.