Facts about John Irving
John Irving Biography
John Irving became internationally known after the publication of his fourth novel, 1978’s The World According to Garp.
Since then, he’s published more than a dozen novels, including The Cider House Rules (1985), A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989) and In One Person (2012).
Irving studied fiction writing at the University of New Hampshire and the University of Iowa, and spent the first part of the 1970s writing novels and teaching.
The World According to Garp was the book to read in the late 1970s. It won a National Book Award in 1980, and the hit film version in 1982 catapulted Robin Williams, Glenn Close and John Lithgow to stardom.
His novel The Hotel New Hampshire was also made into a film (1984, starring Rob Lowe and Jodie Foster), and Irving won an Oscar in 2000 for his screenplay for The Cider House Rules (1999, starring Tobey Maguire). His bestselling novel A Prayer for Owen Meany was the inspiration for the film Simon Birch (1998), and the Jeff Bridges movie The Door in the Floor (2004) is based on his 1998 novel, A Widow for One Year.
Autobiographical details make their way into Irving’s novels — New Hampshire and wrestling, for example — but his stories are also known for taking odd and inventive turns. Despite being often controversial for daring scenes, some of his novels are required reading in high school literature classes.
Irving’s other novels include The Fourth Hand (2001), Until I Find You (2005) and Avenue of Mysteries (2015). His memoirs are The Imaginary Girlfriend (1995) and My Movie Business (1999, on The Cider House Rules).