John Irving was as John Wallace Blunt, Jr. born. He was named after his father, a fighter pilot . However, his mother, Helen Frances Winslow, a nurse , divorced before their son was born. The name was changed at the age of six after his stepfather, Colin Franklin Newell Irving, a professor of Russian history, adopted him. John began wrestling and writing at the age of 14 , but had great difficulties at school because of his dyslexia . At the age of 19 he knew what he wanted: wrestling and writing novels. (Quote: "Writing is like wrestling. You need discipline and technique. You have to approach a story like an opponent." No evidence )
Irving studied English literature at the University of Pittsburgh from 1961 , then, in 1962/1963, spent two semesters in Vienna , where he had the idea for his first novel: He spent his time in the zoo and in coffee houses (because it was too cold in his room was) drove motorcycle, read the Tin drum by Günter Grass and wrote, inspired by it, his first book , let the bears go! , which appeared in 1968. After his time in Vienna, Irving went to the University of New Hampshire , where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1965 . He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in 1967 and then took up a teaching position at a college in Vermont .
Since, after his third novel, he was of the opinion that his previous publisher was not giving him enough support, he brought out his fourth book Garp und wie he saw the world with another publisher and thus achieved his breakthrough. The novel tells the life story of the writer TS Garp and his feminist mother. The success was so overwhelming that Irving was henceforth able to devote himself entirely to writing and gave up teaching.
In 1999 he wrote the screenplay for his novel God's Work and Devil's Contribution himself, after he had distanced himself from the film for his novel Owen Meany the year before and had the title changed to Simon Birch . Irving has received several awards for his script, including an Oscar .
John Irving has two sons from his first marriage and is in his second marriage since 1987 to his agent, with whom he has another son. He lives alternately in Vermont and Toronto . In 2019, he also took on Canadian citizenship.
Themes and motifs
The most unlikely, often extremely bizarre and macabre incidents, which at the same time turn into the hilarious, characterize John Irving's novels. The tone is tragicomic; social taboos are broken. These multiple exaggerations and distortions lead to grotesque satires on American society. Another main topic are the ups and downs of interpersonal relationships, which he mostly portrays bluntly and blatantly: “... I've always written about people who have to live with any kind of loss - regardless of whether they have lost a part of their body, a loved one or Children. If there are topics that repeat themselves over and over again in almost all of my books, it is the topics of loss and violence that happen bizarre and completely unexpected. Every damn day I see things in my imagination that are more terrible than September 11th . "
Some motifs are often found in Irving's novels: physical sports (wrestling, football); Recurring regional references or locations (Maine, New Hampshire, Staten Island, also Europe, especially Vienna and Amsterdam); Characteristics of characters (shy men, strong female characters, sons growing up without a father, prostitutes); Relationships (sexual relationships between older women and younger men, incest, often homoerotic relationships) and milieus (red light milieus, boarding schools, hotels / guest houses, circus) as well as writing, motorcycles, religion and again and again bears. Some critics accuse Irving of writing very autobiographically and repeating himself over and over again; a problem that he grapples with for a year in Widow .
Awards and honors
- 1980: National Book Award for his novel Garp and How He Saw the World
- 1999: NBR Award for the screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel God's Work and Devil's Contribution
- 2000: Oscar for the screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel The Work of God and the Devil's Contribution
- 2000: Golden Satellite Award for the best adapted screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel God's Work and Devil's Contribution
- 2001: Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- 2013: Lambda Literary Award for the novel In One Person in the category Bisexual Literature (together with Cheryl Burke)
- 2014: Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
On the day before his 70th birthday in 2012 , a German documentary about Irving's life was released in cinemas under the title John Irving and how he sees the world .
- 1968 Setting Free the Bears. German by Michael Walter 1985: Let go of the bears! , ISBN 3-257-21323-9 .
- 1972 The Water-Method Man. German by Edith Nerke and Jürgen Bauer 1989: The wild story of the water drinker , ISBN 3-257-22445-1 .
- 1974 The 158-Pound Marriage. German by Nikolaus Stingl 1986: A middleweight marriage , ISBN 3-257-21605-X .
- 1978 The World According to Garp. German by Jürgen Abel 1979: Garp and how he saw the world , ISBN 3-499-15042-5 .
- 1981 The Hotel New Hampshire. German by Hans Hermann 1982: The Hotel New Hampshire , ISBN 3-257-21194-5 .
- 1985 The Cider House Rules. German by Thomas Lindquist 1988: God's work and the devil's contribution , ISBN 3-257-21837-0 .
- 1989 A Prayer for Owen Meany. German by Jürgen Bauer 1990: Owen Meany , ISBN 3-257-22491-5 .
- 1994 A Son of the Circus. German by Irene Rumler 1995: circus child , ISBN 3-257-22966-6 .
- 1998 Widow for One Year. German by Irene Rumler 1999: Widow for a year , ISBN 3-257-23300-0 . ( Number 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list from March 22nd to August 1st, 1999 )
- 2001 The Fourth Hand. German by Nikolaus Stingl 2002: The fourth hand , ISBN 3-257-23370-1 . ( No. 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list from February 4th to 17th, 2002 )
- 2005 Until I Find You. German by Dirk van Gunsteren and Nikolaus Stingl 2006: Until I find you , ISBN 3-257-06522-1 .
- 2009 Last Night in Twisted River. German by Hans M. Herzog 2010: Last Night in Twisted River , ISBN 3-257-06747-X .
- 2012 In One Person. German by Hans M. Herzog and Astrid Arz 2012: In one person , ISBN 3-257-06838-7 .
- 2015 Avenue of Mysteries. German by Hans M. Herzog 2016: Straße der Wunder , ISBN 3-257-06966-9 .
- 2020 Darkness as a Bride.
- 1993 Trying to Save Piggy Sneed. German by Dirk van Gunsteren 1993: Rescue attempt for Piggy Sneed , ISBN 3-257-22779-5 . (Short stories and an essay on Charles Dickens)
- 1996 The Imaginary Girlfriend. German by Irene Rumler 1996: The Imaginary Girlfriend , ISBN 3-257-23308-6 . (On wrestling and writing - an autobiography)
- 1999 My Movie Business. German by Irene Rumler 2000: My life, my novels, my films , ISBN 3-257-06238-9 . (About his experience in filming his novel God's Work and the Devil's Contribution )
- 2002 trip to Germany. ISBN 3-257-70176-4 . (A mood report on Germany in the nineties)
- 2003 A sound like trying not to make a sound. ISBN 3-257-01102-4 . (Children's book, from the first part of the novel Widow for a Year , with drawings by Tatjana Hauptmann)
- 1982: Garp and How He Saw the World (with Robin Williams and Glenn Close ). Director: George Roy Hill
- 1984: Hotel New Hampshire (with Jodie Foster , Beau Bridges and Nastassja Kinski ). Director: TONY RICHARDSON
- 1998: Owen Meany under the title Simon Birch . Directed by Mark Steven Johnson
- 1999: God's Work and the Devil's Contribution (with Michael Caine , Charlize Theron and Tobey Maguire ). Directed by Lasse Hallström
- 2004: The Door in the Floor ( The Door in the Floor ,) (with Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger ). Director: Tod Williams
In the film adaptation of Garp and How He Saw the World, Irving played a supporting role as a referee directing a school match, and a station master in God's Work and the Devil's Contribution .
- Hartmut Braun: Literature as a distorting mirror. Metafiction in the novels of John Irving. Der Andere Verl., Osnabrück 2004, ISBN 3-89959-197-6 .
- Barbara Sinic: The socially critical function of the grotesque. Analyzed using the novels by Vonnegut, Irving, Boyle, Grass, Rosendorfer and Widmer. Frankfurt am Main u. a .: Lang 2003. (= Viennese contributions to comparative literature and Romance studies; 12) ISBN 3-631-50649-X .
- Elke Weiß: John Irving and the art of storytelling. Frankfurt am Main u. a .: Lang 2002. (= Bremen contributions to the history of literature and ideas; 37) ISBN 3-631-38889-6 .
- John Irving: The Imaginary Girlfriend. From wrestling and writing. Zurich: Diogenes Verlag 2002, ISBN 3-257-23308-6 .
- Literature by and about John Irving in the catalog of the German National Library
- Official website
- John Irving - Life and Work (in German)
- John Irving - and how he sees the world (documentary)
- John Irving in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Interview with John Irving in the NZZ Folio magazine
- Interview with John Irving (MP3; 13.0 MB) in the BBC World Book Club
- Interview with John Irving in CULTurMAG (March 16, 2011)
- "Novels according to a precise plan" Portrait for the 75th birthday of the writer John Irving on March 2, 2017. In title culture magazine
- Deborah Dundas: 'Ending up here is a love story.' American writer John Irving becomes a Canadian citizen | The Star. In: thestar.com. December 13, 2019, accessed December 14, 2019 .
- John Irving's 'Avenue of Mysteries' . ( nytimes.com [accessed July 9, 2018]).
- Academy Members. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed January 16, 2019 .
- Rochus Wolff: John Irving and how he sees the world. In: kino-zeit.de. Retrieved May 11, 2013 .
- The Door In The Floor , the first part of the book Widow for a year
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Irving, John Winslow (full name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||March 2, 1942|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Exeter , New Hampshire, United States|