In One Person

Front Cover
Knopf Canada, May 8, 2012 - Bisexual men - 448 pages
1785 Reviews

"My dear boy, please don't put a label on me - don't make me a category before you get to know me!"
 
John Irving's new novel is a glorious ode to sexual difference, a poignant story of a life that no reader will be able to forget, a book that no one else could have written.
 
Told with the panache and assurance of a master storyteller, In One Person takes the reader along a dizzying path: from a private school in Vermont in the 1950s to the gay bars of Madrid's Chueca district, from the Vienna State Opera to the wrestling mat at the New York Athletic Club. It takes in the ways that cross-dressing passes from one generation to the next in a family, the trouble with amateur performances of Ibsen, and what happens if you fall in love at first sight while reading Madame Bovary on a troop transport ship, in the middle of an Atlantic storm. For the sheer pleasure of the tale, there is no writer alive as entertaining and enthralling as John Irving at his best.
 
But this is also a heartfelt, intimate book about one person, a novelist named William Francis Dean. By his side as he tells his own story, we follow Billy on a fifty-year journey toward himself, meeting some uniquely unconventional characters along the way. For all his long and short relationships with both men and women, Billy remains somehow alone, never quite able to fit into society's neat categories. And as Billy searches for the truth about himself, In One Person grows into an unforgettable call for compassion in a world marked by failures of love and failures of understanding.
 
Utterly contemporary and topical in its themes, In One Person is one of John Irving's most political novels. It is a book that grapples with the mysteries of identity and the multiple tragedies of the AIDS epidemic, a book about everything that has changed in our sexual life over the last fifty years and everything that still needs to. It's also one of Irving's most sincere and human novels, a book imbued on every page with a spirit of openness that expands and challenges the reader's world.
 
A brand new story in a grand old tradition, In One Person stands out as one of John Irving's finest works - and as such, one of the best and most important American books of the last four decades.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
363
4 stars
622
3 stars
492
2 stars
208
1 star
100

I love john Irving's storytelling. - Goodreads
Hard to read at times. - Goodreads
I love Irving's writing. - Goodreads
I found the ending weak, unsatisfying, contrived. - Goodreads
Well-researched and sensitively written. - Goodreads
Irving has a way with character development. - Goodreads

Review: In One Person

User Review  - Al - Goodreads

Vintaqe Irving. Please write another one soon. Read full review

Review: In One Person

User Review  - Martha - Goodreads

As with all John Irving's books, I got completed absorbed in the story. I know I have become one with the book when I dream about it which I did, a lot. Although this is not a book I would book talk ... Read full review

All 4 reviews »

About the author (2012)

The World According to Garp, which won the National Book Award in 1980, was John Irving's fourth novel and his first international bestseller; it also became a George Roy Hill film. Tony Richardson wrote and directed the adaptation for the screen of The Hotel New Hampshire (1984). Irving's novels are now translated into 35 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 a time when the Vietnam War had its most divisive effect on the United States.
 
In 1992, John Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (He competed as a wrestler for 20 years, until he was 34, and coached the sport until he was 47.) In 2000, Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules, a Lasse Hallström film that earned seven Academy Award nominations. Tod Williams wrote and directed The Door in the Floor, the 2004 film adapted from Irving's ninth novel, A Widow for One Year.
 
In One Person is John Irving's 13th novel.

Bibliographic information