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 by John Irving X
In One Person by John Irving
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  • Published May 2012
    448 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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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

This information about In One Person was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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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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  • The World According to Garp jacket

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