An international bestseller since its publication in 1978, The World According to Garp established John Irving as one of the most imaginative writers of his generation.
This is the life of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields—a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes—even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with “lunacy and sorrow”; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. In more than thirty languages, in more than forty countries--with more than ten million copies in print--this novel provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: “In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases.”
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. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven. Mr. Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times--winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp. He received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for his short story "Interior Space." In 2000, Mr. Irving 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. An international writer--his novels have been translated into more than thirty-five languages--John Irving lives in Toronto. His all-time best-selling novel, in every language, is A Prayer for Owen Meany. Avenue of Mysteries is his fourteenth novel.
PRAISE FOR JOHN IRVING AND THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP:
“One of the greatest writers of our time. It is impossible to imagine the American—or international—literary landscape without John Irving.” —TIME
“John Irving’s body of work creates worlds that allow the reader to explore the contradictions of twisted morality, the consequences of suspicions of the other, the absurdities of pride and ignorance, and the tragedy of a lack of sympathy and empathy for our fellow humans: characteristics that make peace unreachable. Through books—especially Irving’s books—readers learn to understand and identify with people who are different from themselves.” —Sharon Rab, founder and chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation (prize citation)
“It delighted me. A large talent announces itself on practically every page.” —Mordecai Richler
“[Irving] offers . . . a faith in patient storytelling and the conviction that narrative hunger is part of our essence.” —Carol Shields
“A wonderful novel, full of energy and art.” —The Washington Post
“Nothing in contemporary fiction matches it. . . . Irving's blend of gravity and play is unique, audacious, almost blasphemous. . . . Brilliant, funny, and consistently wise; a work of vast talent.” —The New Republic
“The most powerful and profound novel about women written by a man in our generation. . . . A marvelous, important, permanent novel by a serious artist of remarkable powers.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Irving’s brilliance rests in his ability to make the odd eventually seem ordinary, the wounded no different than the rest of us. There is sorrow, but there is also deep satisfaction.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“There is simply no one else who writes like he does.” —Edmonton Journal
“There is something of Byron about John Irving.” —Robertson Davies
“Irving is a hero of late twentieth-century fiction: The World According to Garp (1978), The Cider House Rules (1985) and A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989) are exemplars of Irving’s blend of realist magic and storytelling brio, peopled with characters who leap off the page. The fabulist elements in those books link them back to an older, mythic narrative tradition; Irving’s passions shed light on some dark corners of the American psyche.” —Financial Times