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  • Published: 10 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448125104
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 624

In One Person

Spanning fifty years, In One Person is an breathtaking examination of sexual identity

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, 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’.

  • Published: 10 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448125104
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 624

About the author

John Irving

John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942, and he once admitted that he was a 'grim' child. Although he excelled in English at school and knew by the time he graduated that he wanted to write novels, it was not until he met a young Southern novelist named John Yount, at the University of New Hampshire, that he received encouragement. 'It was so simple,' he remembers. 'Yount was the first person to point out that anything I did except writing was going to be vaguely unsatisfying.'

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 thirty-five foreign 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 that time when the Vietnam War had its most divisive effect on the United States.

In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, until he was thirty-four, and coached the sport until he was forty-seven). In 2000, Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules-a Lasse Hallström film with seven Academy Award nominations. Tod Williams wrote and directed The Door in the Floor, the 2004 film adapted from Mr. Irving's ninth novel, A Widow for One Year. In One Person is John Irving's thirteenth novel.

John Irving has three children and lives in Vermont and Toronto.

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Praise for In One Person

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. A profound truth is arrived at in these pages. It is Irving at his most daring, at his most ambitious. 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. From the beginning of his career Irving has always cherished our peculiarities - in a fierce, not a saccharine way. Now he has extended his sympathies - and ours - still further into areas that even the misfits eschew. John Irving in this magnificent novel - his best and most passionate since The World According to Garp - has sacralized what lies between polarizing genders and orientations. And have I mentioned it is also a gripping page-turner and a beautifully constructed work of art?

Edmund White

This wonderful novel is an epic, moving survey of 70 years of sexual revolution

The Times

A rich and absorbing book, even beautiful


A brave and hugely affecting depiction of how in one life (sexual and otherwise) we contain multitudes


In One Person gives a lot. It’s funny, as you would expect. It’s risky in what it exposes. Tolerance, in a John Irving novel is not about anything goes; it’s what happens when we face our own desires honestly, whether we act on them or not

Jeanette Winterson

Deeply enjoyable... a comic celebration of polymorphous perversity, and of literature


Told with Irving's typically Dickensian scope and humanity, In One Person is a celebration of difference

The Word

Superbly conceived


Boldly conceived and energetically executed


Irving has rarely written with the gorgeous poise and control he musters here

Financial Times

Crammed with Irving's signature cleverness

The Scotsman

Irving writes with clarity and compassion about the Aids epidemic: his forensic detailing of this merciless disease is deeply affecting

Irish Times