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John Irving

Ein Kurzporträt

John Irving hat einen Hang zu unwahrscheinlichen und gleichzeitig urkomischen Begebenheiten. Diese Übertreibungen werfen grelle Spotlights auf die Stärken und Schwächen seiner literarischen Helden und zwingen die LeserInnen gleichzeitig zu einem befreienden Lachen, mit dem sie sich aus oftmals beklemmenden Situationen "flüchten" können.

Ein weiteres Thema Irvings ist die Welt zwischenmenschlicher Beziehungen. Oft überdeutlich und krass seziert er zahllose Varianten des Scheiterns, aber auch romantische Augenblicke, die er häufig sofort wieder mit einer seiner Übertreibungen zerstört.

John Irving ist einer der wenigen amerikanischen Autoren, die Österreich, und hier vor allem Wien, zum Schauplatz ihrer Romanhandlungen machen, so geschehen in Hotel New Hampshire, das mit Nastassja Kinski verfilmt wurde.


  • Setting Free the Bears
  • The Water Method Man (dt. Die Geschichte vom Wassertrinker) - (in der Bibliothek erhältlich)
  • 158-Pound Marriage (dt. Eine Mittelgewichtsehe) - (in der Bibliothek erhältlich)

The darker vision and sexual ambiguities of this erotic, ironic tale about a ménage a quatre in a New England university town foreshadow those of The World According to Garp; but this very trim and precise novel is a marked departure from the author's generally robust, boisterous style. Though Mr. Irving's cool eye spares none of his foursome, he writes with genuine compassion for the sexual tests and illusions they perpetrate on each other; but the sexual intrigue between them demonstrates how even the kind can be ungenerous, and even the well-intentioned, destructive.

  • The World According to Garp (dt. Garp und wie er die Welt sah)

This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields - a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes - even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow"; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. In more than thirty languages, in more than forty countries - with more than ten million copies in print - this novel provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

  • The Hotel New Hampshire (dt. Das Hotel New Hampshire) - (in der Bibliothek erhältlich)

"The first of my father's illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels." So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times encountered by the family Berry. Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, they "dream on" in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel.

  • The Cider House Rules
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany (dt. Gottes Werk und Teufels Beitrag) - (in der Bibliothek erhältlich)


John Irving (1942- ), American author, born in Exeter, New Hampshire, and educated at the Universities of Pittsburgh, Vienna, and New Hampshire. He joined the English department at Mount Holyoke College (1967) and two years later published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, which was followed by The Water-Method Man (1972). After its publication Irving continued to teach and hold writer-in-residence positions. In 1978 he published The World According to Garp, which was such a commercial success that Irving was able to leave teaching and devote all his time to writing. The book was nominated for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Since then Irving has published three best-selling novels: The Hotel New Hampshire (1981; motion picture, 1982), The Cider House Rules (1985), and A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989).