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Creator / John Irving

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"Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties."

John Irving (born March 2, 1942) is an American novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of over a dozen novels and the screenplay for The Cider House Rules. Known for his very idiosyncratic method of working: he always writes the ending of a novel first, and structures the rest of the story towards that ending.

In addition to The Cider House Rules, and adaptations of The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire, his novels have also served as inspiration for the films The Door in the Floor and Simon Birch.

Works by John Irving with their own pages include:

Other works by John Irving contain examples of:

  • Author Appeal: Particularly in his earlier works, it was almost a running joke that any given Irving novel would contain references to bears, prostitution, disappeared dads, New England private schools, wrestling, and/or Vienna. That Other Wiki previously had a section tracking which novels contained which subjects. Later works tone it down by containing only one or two of these motifs, rather than 3+.
  • Genre Throwback: All his works are homages to the serialized, plot-heavy novels of the nineteenth century, particularly Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy.
  • The Mentor: He names Kurt Vonnegut as his, and the two remanded friends until Vonnegut's death in 2008.
  • Most Writers Are Writers:
    • The narrator of The 158-Pound Marriage is a semi-successful author of historical fiction. The novel describes but also results from an author's frustrating, year-long research trip to Vienna, which yielded no intriguing fictional narratives but did yield a hot wife.
    • Daniel Baciagalupo in Last Night in Twisted River is a novelist. A novelist whose books include one on Vietnam, and another on abortion.
    • The World According to Garp: T.S. Garp, arguably Irving's most famous creation, is a writer.
    • The main characters of A Widow for One Year, The Fourth Hand, Last Night in Twisted River, In One Person, and Avenue of Mysteries are all either novelists or journalists.