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John Irving
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    (March 2, 1942- )
    Resides in Vermont and Toronto
    Birth name is John Wallace Blunt, Jr.
    Wrote 'Setting Free the Bears (1968),' 'The Water-Method Man (1972),' 'The 158-Pound Marriage (1974),' 'The World According to Garp (1978),' 'The Hotel New Hampshire (1981),' 'The Cider House Rules (1985),' 'A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989),' 'A Son of the Circus (1994),' 'Trying to Save Piggy Sneed (1996),' 'A Widow for One Year (1998)' and 'The Fourth Hand (2001)'
    His books are full of bizarre situations and grotesque humor.
    He has been criticized for sexism and 'punishing' his female characters.
    'The Cider House Rules' is a thinly veiled political statement about abortion.
    He agreed to let 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' be made into a movie. He then changed his mind but made the film makers use a different title and character names.
    He is frequently compared to Charles Dickens.
    He has created many vivid and memorable characters.
    He is badly dyslexic, which makes his chosen profession a difficult one.
    He sometimes coaches wrestling in schools.
    He is a member of the American Wrestling Hall of Fame.
    He won an Oscar for his screenplay adaptation of 'The Cider House Rules.'
    He once flew to Europe next to a woman reading one of his books, but he didn't tell her who he was, because he didn't want her to stop reading.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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