John Irving

John Irving, photo by Derek O’Donnell
John Irving, photo by Derek O’Donnell

John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968 when he was twenty-six years old. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven. In 1992 he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times, winning in 1980 for The World According to Garp. In 2000 he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2013 he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person. Irving is internationally renowned: his books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. A Prayer for Owen Meany is his best selling novel in every language.

A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, he lives in Toronto. His fifteenth novel, The Last Chairlift, was published in 2022.


selected bibliography

The Last Chiarlift by John Irving
The Last Chairlift (2022)
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
A Prayer for Owen Meany (2002)
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Cider House Rules (1985)
The World According to Garp by John Irving
The World According to Garp (1978)

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online resources

John Irving’s website
“Forty years later, The World According to Garp remains ‘a treasure beyond scope,'” National Post, April 5, 2018
“Irving always knows where he’s going,” author interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, November 3, 2015
“Sexual Outsiders: Three Questions with Irving,” Publishers Weekly, April 13, 2012

Video: “The world according to the famous writer Irving” by True Story Documentary Channel