The bestselling coming-of-age classic novel by John Irving–now in a limited 40th anniversary edition with a new introduction by the author.
“He is more than popular. He is a Populist, determined to keep alive the Dickensian tradition that revels in colorful set pieces…and teaches moral lessons.”–The New York Times
The opening sentence of John Irving’s breakout novel, The World According to Garp, signals the start of sexual violence, which becomes increasingly political. “Garp’s mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theater.” Jenny is an unmarried nurse; she becomes a single mom and a feminist leader, beloved but polarizing. Her son, Garp, is less beloved, but no less polarizing.
From the tragicomic tone of its first sentence to its mordantly funny last line–“we are all terminal cases”–The World According to Garp maintains a breakneck pace. The subject of sexual hatred–of intolerance of sexual minorities and differences–runs the gamut of “lunacy and sorrow.” Winner of the National Book Award, Garp is a comedy with forebodings of doom. In more than thirty languages, in more than forty countries–with more than ten million copies in print–Garp is the precursor of John Irving’s later protest novels.