In One Person: Book summary and reviews of In One Person by John Irving

In One Person

A Novel

By John Irving

In One Person
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  • Published in USA  May 2012,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love - tormented, funny, and affecting - and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a "sexual suspect," a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of "terminal cases," The World According to Garp.

His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving's In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy's friends and lovers - a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself "worthwhile."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Woody Allen's bon mot about bisexuality is that it doubled one's chances for a date, but in this novel Irving explores in his usual discursive style some of the more serious and exhaustive consequences of Allen's one-liner." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Ever the fearless writer of conscience calling on readers to be open-minded, Irving performs a sweetly audacious, at times elegiac, celebration of human sexuality." - Booklist

"Sexual secrets abound in this novel, which intermittently touches the heart as it fitfully illuminates the mutability of human desire." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. This wonderful blend of thought-provoking, well-constructed, and meaningful writing is what one has come to expect of Irving, and it also makes for an enjoyable page-turner." - Library Journal

"This tender exploration of nascent desire, of love and loss, manages to be sweeping, brilliant, political, provocative, tragic, and funny - it is precisely the kind of astonishing alchemy we associate with a John Irving novel... It is America and American writing, both at their very best." - Abraham Verghese

"In One Person is a novel that makes you proud to be human. It is a book that not only accepts but also loves our differences... And have I mentioned it is also a gripping page-turner and a beautifully constructed work of art?" - Edmund White

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Author Information

John Irving Author Biography

John Winslow Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His novels include The World According to Garp, The Hotel New Hampshire, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Son of the Circus, and Last Night In Twisted River. Irving is married and has three sons; he lives in Toronto and in southern Vermont.

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