Quote of the Week | John Irving


Quotes on Education are a dime a dozen on the Internet (please excuse the cliched use of this idiom). Some are real gems, and some are too earnest to post this early-on in the year. Since we’re all embarking on our first full week of the semester, however, education seemed an apropos theme for blog one of the 2017/18 academic year. After all, as screenwriter Gene Perret once said, “Education can get you the only thing that really matters in today’s world – an assigned parking space,” and that’s why we’re all really here – to get a parking space in front of the publishing house that inspired us to apply to this program.

But Perret is not the author we’d like to feature in today’s post. Instead, let’s pivot to the best-selling novelist (and former wrestler) whose writing style has been compared to Charles Dickens by The Boston Globe.


“With every book, you go back to school. You become a student. You become
an investigative reporter. You spend a little time learning what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.” — John Irving

Born in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1942, John Irving wrote his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968 when he was just 26 years old. Throughout his illustrious career, Irving has had 17 books published – 14 novels, two memoirs, and one collection of short stories, although he is best known, perhaps, for his novel The Cider House Rules, which won him an Oscar in 2000 for Best Adapted Screenplay. Irving is no stranger to awards, however. His 1978 novel The World According to Garp earned the National Book award in 1980 and In One Person, his 2014 novel about a bisexual man falling in love with a transgender woman, won the Lambda Literary Award in 2013. His most recent novel, Avenue of Mysteries, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015.

For more on John Irving’s writing process, check out his Big Think interview on “The Thrill of the Black Page.”

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