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 languages, and he has had ten international bestsellers. In 1992, John Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules.
In One Person is John Irving’s thirteenth novel, a compelling and affecting exploration of sexuality, identity, and longing. In it, Mr. Irving pushes the boundaries of acceptance for the sexual outsider or misfit: he describes the life and mind of a bisexual man dealing with his solitariness and the obduracy of an intolerant society; he introduces readers to a host of characters, including ones who identify as transgender. Billy Abbott, the bisexual main character, becomes a writer. During the AIDS epidemic, Billy bears witness to its horror and its politicizing effects. With compassion and curiosity, Billy grows into a man of singular qualities; he discovers that our differences can be as formative as our similarities.