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Author Spotlight--John Irving

John Irving is a celebrated novelist known for his masterful blending of the comic and the tragic in his endearing storytelling. Since the late 1960's, he has produced more than a dozen acclaimed works, and won an academy award in 1999 for the screenplay version of his novel The Cider House Rules. In addition to his literary talents, the New Hampshire native has made a name for himself as an amateur wrestler and coach.

Until I Find You (2005)
Actor Jack Burns draws upon his childhood years spent searching for his missing father and relating to mother, a Toronto tattoo artist, in order to deconstruct his Hollywood career and relationships with women.
 
The Fourth Hand (2001)
When a freak circus accident leaves a down-and-out reporter without his left hand, a celebrated Boston surgeon offers to perform the world's first hand transplant. But odd circumstances arise when the donor's widow begins making some unusual requests - including visitation rights.
 
A Widow for One Year (1998)
A story about the redeeming qualities of love, Irving's ninth novel takes place in three parts, chronicling the life of a writer whose distinguished career is fueled by bitter memories growing up in a dysfunctional household.
 
A Son of the Circus (1994)
A whimsical and absurd tale of mystery, A Son of the Circus revolves around a physician, who upon returning to his native India to study circus dwarfs, finds himself entangled in the case of a transsexual serial killer.
 
A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989)
11-year-old Owen Meany, a pint-sized outcast with an unusual cartoon voice, becomes convinced that he is an instrument of God when a foul ball he hits at a baseball game kills the mother of his best friend, Johnny Wheelwright. Far from separating the two boys, the tragic mishap draws them ever-closer, as Owen's sense of divine destiny unearths mysteries in Johnny's past and ultimately determines his future.
 
The Cider House Rules (1985)
Continually passed over for adoption, orphan Homer Wells is eventually raised as heir apparent to Dr. Wilbur Larch, the director and resident obstetrician of an orphanage in rural Maine. But as Homer discovers the extent of Dr. Larch's responsibilities, he soon flees to work in a nearby cider house, where troubling moral complexities are muted by humble routine.
 
The Hotel New Hampshire (1982)
Narrated by the middle child of a decidedly eccentric family, this moving novel chronicles the strange and wonderful experiences they share while living in a series of hotels.
 
The World According to Garp (1978)
Often heralded as Irving's definitive work, The World According to Garp is a comically tragic novel about a dedicated husband and father whose life is suddenly populated with a strange assortment of characters. Featuring transsexual football players, unicylcing bears, prostitutes, schoolteachers, wrestlers, and radical feminists, Irving's fourth novel defies synopsis, but is nonetheless warm and wise.
 

Updated:09/10/09