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. 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 pre... Full description
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. 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.
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John Irving published his first novel at the age of twenty-six. He has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation; he has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award, and an Academy Award.
(Publisher Provided) John Irving was born John Wallace Blunt, Jr. on March 2, 1942 in Exeter, New Hampshire. His named was changed to John Winslow Irving when his stepfather adopted him at the age of six. He was a dyslexic child and it took him five years to get through Exeter Academy, which is where his adoptive father taught Russian history. He received a B.A. (cum laude) from the University of New Hampshire in 1965 and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, in 1967, where he studied with Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
His first novel was Setting Free the Bears (1969) but it wasn't until The World According to Garp was published in 1978, that he became a literary star. The novel spent six months on the bestseller list and won the American Book Award in 1980. It was also made into a movie in 1982 starring Robin Williams and costarring Glenn Close and John Lithgow. In 1981, he received an O. Henry Award for the short story Interior Space. Some of his other novels were also made into movies including The Hotel New Hampshire starring Jodie Foster and Rob Lowe; A Prayer for Owen Meany, which was titled Simon Birch starring Jim Carrey; and The Cider House Rules starring Michael Caine. He won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules in 2000.
Irving also wrote two memoirs; one detailing his wrestling adventures entitled The Imaginary Girlfriend, and another concerning his novels made into Hollywood films entitled My Movie Business: A Memoir.