March 2nd – Today we celebrate the birth of a personal favorite author of mine, Mr. John Irving. He was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on March 2nd 1942. Irving would later attend the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy, where he developed his passion for reading and wrestling both of which would eventually influence and play important roles in his stories and his career.
Irving is best known for penning The Cider House Rules (later adapted to the big screen, starring Tobey Maguire, which Irving won an Oscar for), The World According to Garp, and A Prayer for Owen Meany.
As a novelist, Irving’s career began in his mid 20’s. However, during his early career Irving worked as an academic in order to financially support his young family while writing on the side in his spare time. His first critical success, The World According to Garp, would not be published until Irving was 36, but its popularity has since allowed Irving to devote his attention solely to his writing.
Irving’s stories are noted for their sometimes autobiographical nature, as well as the strong development of his characters, his dark comedic (and dramatic) effects and his imaginative themes. Perhaps Irving’s own simple words best explain his success as a writer: “The building of the architecture of a novel – the craft of it – is something I never tire of.”
Trying to Save Piggy Sneed (a collection of short stories, autobiographical writing and essays, written by John Irving)