Episode 3 of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s LEGENDS podcast features award-winning writer and novelist John Irving, a 1992 Outstanding American inductee.
Throughout his literary career, John Irving has demonstrated his ties to wrestling. In his best-known novel, The World According to Garp, the title character is a wrestling enthusiast. The 158-Pound Marriage, winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Award, features a wrestling coach as a principal character.
Irving attended the Universities of Pittsburgh and Vienna and earned degrees at the Universities of New Hampshire and Iowa. He has taught at Windham College, Mount Holyoke, Wellesley College, Brandeis University, Pittsburgh and Iowa.
Wrestling captain at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Irving was a member of the wrestling team at Pitt. He has coached at Phillips Exeter and four other prep schools in Massachusetts and Vermont. He is a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club and the New York Athletic Club.
His works include 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; and A Prayer for Owen Meany, 1989. He continues to write novels on a regular basis.
Irving received the Rockefeller Foundation Award in 1973, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976-77, and the O’Henry Prize, for the best American short stories in 1981.
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