A compelling 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, 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.
His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving’s 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’.
About the Author
John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942, and he once admitted that he was a ‘grim’ child. Although he excelled in English at school and knew by the time he graduated that he wanted to write novels, it was not until he met a young Southern novelist named John Yount, at the University of New Hampshire, that he received encouragement. ‘It was so simple,’ he remembers. ‘Yount was the first person to point out that anything I did except writing was going to be vaguely unsatisfying.’
The World According to Garp, which won the National Book Award in 1980, was John Irving’s fourth novel and his first international bestseller. Irving’s novels are now translated into thirty-five foreign languages, and he has had nine international bestsellers. Worldwide, the Irving novel most often called ‘an American classic’ is A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989), the portrayal of an enduring friendship at that time when the Vietnam War had its most divisive effect on the United States.
In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, until he was thirty-four, and coached the sport until he was forty-seven). In 2000, Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules-a Lasse Hallström film with seven Academy Award nominations. In One Person is John Irving’s thirteenth novel.
John Irving has three children and lives in Vermont and Toronto.
Chosen by our readers
This book is written so that we remember who are our brothers – and how we forgot them before. John Irving gives flesh and blook to characters you never forget.