Understanding John Irving analyzes the expansive, action-filled, complex novels that have made Irving one of America's most widely-read contemporary writers. Edward Reilly examines the conflicts, intricate plots, symbols, themes, and literary devices that define the novelist's work, from Irving's fondness for New England settings to his juxtaposing of the comic and the tragic to his affinity for eccentric characters. Featuring discussions of the writer's best-selling novels including A Prayer for Owen Meaney, Cider House Rules, The Hotel New Hampshire, and The World According to Garp, this study reveals the maturing of Irving's literary themes and his comprehensive world vision.
Edward C. Reilly is associate professor of English at Arkansas State University and author of William Kennedy. He has published articles on the works of John Cheever, Jim Harrison, John Kennedy Toole, Winston Groom, and Shelby Foote, and he currently serves as consultant for the "Author's America" series produced by the PBS station WETA-TV.
"I am impressed by how well documented [this book] is."—John Irving