John Irving

December 8, 2010

An avid reader, Mr. John Hallal counts American screenwriter and novelist John Irving among his favorite authors. Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, at the age of 26 and, although it received positive reviews, it did not gain him a strong following. Frustrated by the similar fates of his next two novels, he began teaching as an Assistant Professor at Mount Holyoke College. Irving continued to write, submitting his fourth novel, The World According to Garp, to a new publisher who promised to market the book extensively. The novel quickly became an international bestseller, winning an award from the National Book Foundation and earning him widespread acclaim. Irving’s subsequent novels, including The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and A Widow for One Year, all became bestsellers. Irving later wrote My Movie Business, a nonfiction account of his experiences turning The Cider House Rules into a major motion picture. Most recently, Irving released Last Night in Twisted River, a fictional memoir that reflects upon his own career. The World According to Garp, which brought Irving into the public eye, follows T.S. Garp, the son of a single mother with whom he shares little in common. As an adult, Garp becomes a writer, marries the daughter of a wrestling coach, and has three children. As a devoted father, he continually struggles with the anxiety that fatherhood causes him and his instinctual drive to keep his children safe. Irving breaks up his novel with pieces of Garp’s own writing, keeping the story fresh and intriguing.

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