Garp found that he could forget her; lust, as his mother called it, was tricky that way. And time, he discovered had softened his dislike of Wanga's mayonnaise-jar lip; suddenly, he liked it. And so he had her, twice, and as he would learn all his life, nearly everything seems a letdown after a writer has finished writing something.
--from The World According to Garp
John Irving, b. Exeter, N.H., Mar. 2, 1942, is an author whose sprawling fourth novel, The World According to Garp (1978; film, 1982), earned him a huge following and a National Book Award nomination. The story of an eccentric feminist and her writer son, it displays the same delight in language and narrative exuberance that characterized his previous novels, Setting Free the Bears (1968), The Water Method Man (1972) and The 158-Pound Marriage (1974). The Hotel New Hampshire (1981; film, 1984) is, like Garp, a family saga. The Cider House Rules (1985) is ranked by many as Irving's best novel. A Prayer for Owen Meany was published in 1989.
Text Copyright © 1993 Grolier Incorporated
Irving pages at Ballantine Books