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John Irving
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John Irving
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Novelist and screenwriter John Irving is one of the most popular and respected writers in the world. His novels have become American classics — each one is a publishing event.

Irving’s first international bestseller, The World According to Garp, introduced the world of readers to his inventive and expansive style, memorable characters and masterfully woven stories-within-stories. Garp won a National Book Award in 1980, and was made into a film starring Robin Williams that earned Academy Award - Best Actor in a Supporting Role nominations for both John Lithgow and Glenn Close.

Since Garp’s release, Irving’s subsequent novels, including A Son of the CircusA Prayer for Owen MeanyA Widow for One YearThe Fourth Hand, and Until I Find You, have been translated into over 30 languages and sold tens of millions of copies. He published his 12th novel, Last Night in Twisted River, in October 2009.

His novel, The Cider House Rules, became a movie in 1999 - 14 years after its initial publication. The film won him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and received seven Oscar nominations. 

As a child, Irving, who is dyslexic, learned to carefully read and recite every word in order to keep up in school. Thought to be practical at first, this absorption of language became a powerful tool in his literature. Irving earned his MFA from the University of Iowa where he studied with author Kurt Vonnegut.

Irving has won the O. Henry Award and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, and the Guggenheim Foundation. A former competitive wrestler and coach, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992, and in 2001 was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Irving has three screenplays in-progress. His 14th novel, Avenue of Mysteries, debuted at #5 on The New York Times best sellers list in November 2015.

Full Bio >
  • Irving discusses his 14th novel "Avenue of Mysteries"
  • John Irving on what prompted him to become a writer and his approach to storytelling (2011)
  • A Conversation with John Irving for The New York Times (2009)
  • John Irving on Morning Joe (2009)
  • Irving on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2015)
  • John Irving on Theatricality in Fiction (2012)
  • John Irving on InnerVIEWS (2006)
  • John Irving talks to Jon Stewart (2005)
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Speaking Topics
Readings by John Irving
An Evening with John Irving
Books & Other Works
  • Avenue of Mysteries
  • In One Person
  • The Cider House Rules
  • Last Night in Twisted River
  • A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound
  • The Fourth Hand
  • My Movie Business: A Memoir
  • A Widow For One Year
  • Trying to Save Piggy Sneed
  • A Son of the Circus
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • Until I Find You
  • The Hotel New Hampshire
  • The World According to Garp
  • The 158-Pound Marriage
  • The Water-Method Man
  • Setting Free The Bears
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“A capacity audience of 1,800 turned out for one of the biggest events in the 26 year history of the library author series.”
Indianapolis Marion County Public Library
“John Irving was wonderful...The audience did not want to let it end. We had 2000 in attendance.”
Friends of the Central Library
“John Irving was fabulous!!! He was incredible with the small student group and then wowed the crowd at the Atkinson Lecture in the evening.”
Williamette University
“An absolutely and even joyfully talented storyteller.”
The New York Times Book Review
“The American Balzac, or perhaps our Dickens.”
The Nation
Community Reads
LGBTQ Issues
Writer's Life