John Irving returns to the themes that established him as one of North America's most admired and beloved storytellers in this absorbing novel of fate and memory. As we grow older--most of all, in what we remember and what we dream--we live in the past. Sometimes, we live more vividly in the past than in the present. As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico. "An aura of fate had marked him," John Irving writes, of Juan Diego. "The chain of events, the links in our lives--what leads us where we're going, the courses we follow to our ends, what we don't see coming, and what we do--all this can be mysterious, or simply unseen, or even obvious."Avenue of Mysteries is the story of what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, where what happened to him in the past--in Mexico--collides with his future.
John Irving returns to the themes that established him as one of our most admired and beloved authors in this absorbing novel of fate and memory.In Avenue of Mysteries, Juan Diego--a fourteen-year-old boy, who was born and grew up in Mexico--has a thirteen-year-old sister. Her name is Lupe, and she thinks she sees what's coming--specifically, her own future and her brother's. Lupe is a mind reader; she doesn't know what everyone is thinking, but she knows what most people are thinking. Regarding what has happened, as opposed to what will, Lupe is usually right about the past; without your telling her, she knows all the worst things that have happened to you. Lupe doesn't know the future as accurately. But consider what a terrible burden it is, if you believe you know the future--especially your own future, or, even worse, the future of someone you love. What might a thirteen-year-old girl be driven to do, if she thought she could change the future? As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico. As we grow older--most of all, in what we remember and what we dream--we live in the past. Sometimes, we live more vividly in the past than in the present. Avenue of Mysteries is the story of what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, where what happened to him in the past--in Mexico--collides with his future.
An immediate bestseller when it was first published in December 1843, A Christmas Carol has endured ever since as a perennial Yuletide favorite. Charles Dickens's beloved tale about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who comes to know the meaning of kindness, charity, and goodwill through a haunting Christmas Eve encounter with four ghosts, is a heartwarming celebration of the spirit of Christmas. This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition also includes two other popular Christmas stories by Dickens: "The Chimes," in which a man, persuaded by hypocritical cant that the poor deserve their misery, is shown what his pessimistic resignation might lead to in a vision conjured by the pealing of bells, and "The Haunted Man," Dickens's last Christmas tale, which features one of his great comic families, the Tetterbys.
'The reason Homer Wells kept his name was that he came back to St Cloud's so many times, after so many failed foster homes, that the orphanage was forced to acknowledge Homer's intention to make St Cloud's his home. ' Homer Wells' odyssey begins among the apple orchards of rural Maine. As the oldest unadopted child at St Cloud's orphanage, he strikes up a profound and unusual friendship with Wilbur Larch, the orphanage's founder - a man of rare compassion and an addiction to ether. What he learns from Wilbur takes him from his early apprenticeship in the orphanage surgery, to an adult life running a cider-making factory and a strange relationship with the wife of his closest friend. . .
The Fourth Hand asks an interesting question: "How can anyone identify a dream of the future?" The answer: "Destiny is not imaginable, except in dreams or to those in love."While reporting a story from India, a New York television journalist has his left hand eaten by a lion; millions of TV viewers witness the accident. In Boston, a renowned hand surgeon awaits the opportunity to perform the nation's first hand transplant; meanwhile, in the distracting aftermath of an acrimonious divorce, the surgeon is seduced by his housekeeper. A married woman in Wisconsin wants to give the one-handed reporter her husband's left hand- that is, after her husband dies. But the husband is alive, relatively young, and healthy.This is how John Irving's tenth novel begins; it seems, at first, to be a comedy, perhaps a satire, almost certainly a sexual farce. Yet, in the end, The Fourth Hand is as realistic and emotionally moving as any of Mr. Irving's previous novels - including The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and A Widow for One Year - or his Oscar-winning screenplay of The Cider House Rules.The Fourth Hand is characteristic of John Irving's seamless storytelling and further explores some of the author's recurring themes - loss, grief, love as redemption. But this novel also breaks new ground; it offers a penetrating look at the power of second chances and the will toFrom the Hardcover edition.
The teenagers meet and fall in love while working at a summer resort in Maine where they also meet a Viennese Jew named Freud who works at the resort as a handyman and entertainer, performing with his pet bear, State o' Maine; Freud comes to symbolize the magic of that summer for them. By summer's end the teens are engaged, and Win buys Freud's bear and motorcycle. From then on, it only gets stranger with Irving's signature twists.
The Imaginary Girlfriend is a candid memoir of the writers and wrestlers who played a role in John Irving's development as a novelist and as a wrestler. It also portrays a father's dedication -- Irving coached his two sons to championship titles. It is an illuminating, concise work, a literary treasure.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dedicated to the memory of two wrestling coaches and two writer friends, The Imaginary Girlfriend is John Irving's candid memoir of his twin careers in writing and wrestling. The award-winning author of best-selling novels from The World According to Garp to In One Person, Irving began writing when he was fourteen, the same age at which he began to wrestle at Exeter. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, was certified as a referee at twenty-four, and coached the sport until he was forty-seven. Irving coached his sons Colin and Brendan to New England championship titles, a championship that he himself was denied.In an autobiography filled with the humor and compassion one finds in his fiction, Irving explores the interrelationship between the two disciplines of writing and wrestling, from the days when he was a beginner at both until his fourth wresting related surgery at the age of fifty-three. Writing as a father and mentor, he offers a lucid portrait of those-writers and wrestlers from Kurt Vonnegut to Ted Seabrooke-who played a mentor role in his development as a novelist, wrestler, and wrestling coach. He reveals lessons he learned about the pursuit for which he is best known, writing. "And," as the Denver Post observed, in filling "his narrative with anecdotes that are every bit as hilarious as the antics in his novels, Irving combines the lessons of both obsessions (wrestling and writing) . . . into a somber reflection on the importance of living well."
"His most daringly political, sexually transgressive, and moving novel in well over a decade" (Vanity Fair). Winner of a 2013 Lambda Literary AwardA New York Times bestselling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love--tormented, funny, and affecting--and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a "sexual suspect," a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of "terminal cases," The World According to Garp. In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy's friends and lovers--a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself "worthwhile."
In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County - to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto - pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River - John Irving's twelfth novel - depicts the recent half-century in the United States as 'a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course'. From the novel's taut opening sentence - 'The young Canadian, who could not have been more than fifteen, had hesitated too long' - to its elegiac final chapter, Last Night in Twisted River is written with the historical authenticity and emotional authority of The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany. It is also as violent and disturbing a story as John Irving's breakthrough bestseller, The World According to Garp. What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author's unmistakable voice - the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller. Near the end of this moving novel, John Irving writes: 'We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly - as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth - the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives'.
In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County--to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto--pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River depicts the recent half-century in the United States as "a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course." What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author's unmistakable voice--the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller.
John Irving's memoir begins with his account of the distinguished career and medical writings of the novelist's grandfather Dr. Frederick C. Irving, a renowned obstetrician and gynecologist, and includes Mr. Irving's incisive history of abortion politics in the United States. But My Movie Business focuses primarily on the thirteen years John Irving spent adapting his novel The Cider House Rules for the screen--for four different directors. Mr. Irving also writes about the failed effort to make his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, into a movie; about two of the films that were made from his novels (but not from his screenplays), The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire; about his slow progress at shepherding his screenplay of A Son of the Circus into production. Not least, and in addition to its qualities as a memoir--anecdotal, comic, affectionate, and candid--My Movie Business is an insightful essay on the essential differences between writing a novel and writing a screenplay.The photographs in My Movie Business were taken by Stephen Vaughan, the still photographer on the set of The Cider House Rules--a Miramax production directed by Lasse Hallström, with Michael Caine in the role of Dr. Larch. Concurrently with the November 1999 release of the film, Talk Miramax Books will publish John Irving's screenplay.From the Hardcover edition.
John Irving's memoir describes the author's involvement (and lack thereof) in five of the films that have (and have not) been made from his nine novels.My Movie Business focuses primarily on the thirteen years Mr. Irving spent writing and rewriting his screenplay of The Cider House Rules, for four different directors. A Miramax production, the film was finally shot in the fall of 1998 directed by the Swedish director Lasse Hallström (My Life as a Dog), with Michael Caine in the role of Dr. Larch. The Cider House Rules is a November 1999 release.Mr. Irving also writes about the failed effort to make his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, into a movie; about two of the films that were made from his novels (but not from his screenplays), The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire; and about his ongoing struggle to shepherd his screenplay of A Son of the Circus into production.In addition to its qualities as a memoir - anecdotal, comic, affectionate, and candid - My Movie Business is an insightful essay on the essential differences between writing a novel and writing a screenplay. Never have the two forms of storytelling been so lucidly compared and contrasted; the details are memorable, the examples clarifying.My Movie Business includes photos by Stephen Vaughan, the still photographer on the film set of The Cider House Rules.From the Hardcover edition.
Owen Meany, the only child of a New Hampshire granite quarrier, believes he is God's instrument; he is. Irving's most comic novel, yet Meany is his most heartbreaking character.
Owen Meany, the only child of a New Hampshire granite quarrier, believes he is God's instrument; he is. This is John Irving's most comic novel, yet Owen Meany is Mr. Irving's most heartbreaking character.
I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice-not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany. In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys-best friends-are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.
A Hindi film star and an American missionary are twins separated at birth; a dwarf -- a former circus clown -- mistakes the missionary for the movie star. And stalking one of them is a serial killer...
A Hindi film star . . . an American missionary . . . twins separated at birth . . . a dwarf chauffeur . . . a serial killer . . . all are on a collision course. In the tradition of A Prayer for Owen Meany, Irving's characters transcend nationality. They are misfits--coming from everywhere, belonging nowhere. Set almost entirely in India, this is John Irving's most ambitious novel and a major publishing event.From the Hardcover edition.
For teachers We know that the Common Core State Standards are encouraging you to reevaluate the books that you assign to your students. To help you decide which books are right for your classroom, each free ebook in this series contains a Common Core-aligned teaching guide and a sample chapter. This free teaching guide for A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is designed to help you put the new Common Core State Standards into practice."Among the very best American novels of our time."--Charlotte Observer In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys--best friends--are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.
Here is a treat for John Irving addicts and a perfect introduction to his work for the uninitiated. To open this spirited collection, Irving explains how he became a writer. There follow six scintillating stories written over the last twenty years ending with a homage to Charles Dickens. This irresistible collection cannot fail to delight and charm.
Trying to Save Piggy Sneed contains a dozen short works by John Irving, beginning with three memoirs, including an account of Mr. Irving's dinner with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The longest of the memoirs, "The Imaginary Girlfriend," is the core of this collection.The middle section of the book is fiction. Since the publication of his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968, John Irving has written twelve more novels but only half a dozen stories that he considers "finished": they are all published here, including "Interiors," which won the O. Henry Award. In the third and final section are three essays of appreciation: one on Günter Grass, two on Charles Dickens.To each of the twelve pieces, Mr. Irving has contributed his Author's Notes. These notes provide some perspective on the circumstances surrounding the writing of each piece-for example, an election-year diary of the Bush-Clinton campaigns accompanies Mr. Irving's memoir of his dinner with President Reagan; and the notes to one of his short stories explain that the story was presented and sold to Playboy as the work of a woman.Trying to Save Piggy Sneed is both as moving and as mischievous as readers would expect from the author of The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer of Owen Meany, A Widow for One Year, and In One Person. And Mr. Irving's concise autobiography, "The Imaginary Girlfriend," is both a work of the utmost literary accomplishment and a paradigm for living.
Until I Find You is the story of the actor Jack Burns - his life, loves, celebrity and astonishing search for the truth about his parents. When he is four years old, Jack travels with his mother Alice, a tattoo artist, to several North Sea ports in search of his father, William Burns. From Copenhagen to Amsterdam, William, a brilliant church organist and profligate womanizer, is always a step ahead - has always just departed in a wave of scandal, with a new tattoo somewhere on his body from a local master or "scratcher."Alice and Jack abandon their quest, and Jack is educated at schools in Canada and New England - including, tellingly, a girls' school in Toronto. His real education consists of his relationships with older women - from Emma Oastler, who initiates him into erotic life, to the girls of St. Hilda's, with whom he first appears on stage, to the abusive Mrs. Machado, whom he first meets when sent to learn wrestling at a local gym. Too much happens in this expansive, eventful novel to possibly summarize it all. Emma and Jack move to Los Angeles, where Emma becomes a successful novelist and Jack a promising actor. A host of eccentric minor characters memorably come and go, including Jack's hilariously confused teacher the Wurtz; Michelle Maher, the girlfriend he will never forget; and a precocious child Jack finds in the back of an Audi in a restaurant parking lot. We learn about tattoo addiction and movie cross-dressing, "sleeping in the needles" and the cure for cauliflower ears. And John Irving renders his protagonist's unusual rise through Hollywood with the same vivid detail and range of emotions he gives to the organ music Jack hears as a child in European churches. This is an absorbing and moving book about obsession and loss, truth and storytelling, the signs we carry on us and inside us, the traces we can't get rid of. Jack has always lived in the shadow of his absent father. But as he grows older - and when his mother dies - he starts to doubt the portrait of his father's character she painted for him when he was a child. This is the cue for a second journey around Europe in search of his father, from Edinburgh to Switzerland, towards a conclusion of great emotional force.A melancholy tale of deception, Until I Find You is also a swaggering comic novel, a giant tapestry of life's hopes. It is a masterpiece to compare with John Irving's great novels, and restates the author's claim to be considered the most glorious, comic, moving novelist at work today.From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from John Irving's In One Person.Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character--a "difficult" woman. By no means is she conventionally "nice," but she will never be forgotten.Ruth's story is told in three parts, each focusing on a crucial time in her life. When we first meet her--on Long Island, in the summer of 1958--Ruth is only four.The second window into Ruth's life opens in the fall of 1990, when Ruth is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. She distrusts her judgment in men, for good reason.A Widow for One Year closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She's about to fall in love for the first time.Richly comic, as well as deeply disturbing A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.
Marion Cole, a thirty-nine-year-old woman -- and a faithful wife for twenty-two years -- has an affair with a sixteen-year-old boy; she then leaves her philandering husband. And also abandons her four-year-old daughter, Ruth.By the age of thirty-six, Ruth Cole has become an internationally acclaimed novelist. But she is an angry, impulsive, often self-contradictory, unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career, and she distrusts her judgement in men, for good reason. Five years later, at forty-one, Ruth Cole is a widow and a mother. Ruth's child is the same age Ruth was when her mother left her. Now Ruth is about to fall in love for the first time.A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both richly comic and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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