Irving, John

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Irving, John Gender: M
John Wallace Blunt, Jr.
born on 2 March 1942 at 00:11 (= 12:11 AM )
Place Exeter, New Hampshire, 42n59, 70w57
Timezone EWT h4w (is war time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Gauquelin
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 10°57' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 00°36 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 17°06'

John Irving
photo: Elke Wetzig Elya, license gfdl


American novelist, the best-selling author of acclaimed novels including "A Prayer for Owen Meaney," "The Cider House Rules," "The Hotel New Hampshire" and "The World According to Garp."

Irving grew up in the posh private prep school of Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, where his step-father taught in the History Department. His birth father, a flier in the Air Force, was shot down over Burma in WW II and survived, yet his whereabouts remained a mystery. His mother was a counselor of abused families at a community services center. "My mother remarried when I was six, and I liked - loved the man she married so well that I resented it when people referred to him as my step-father."

Irving was a poor student whose dyslexia caused him to be evaluated by the school psychiatrist, who forced him to spend five years in high school to make up for low grades. After reading "Great Expectations" by Dickens, Irving wished he had written it, the spark that made him want to be a writer.

Upon prep school graduation, Irving earned a B.A. at the University of New Hampshire followed by a year in Vienna in a study-abroad program. He ultimately graduated cum laude from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop with an M.F.A., where he was mentored by Kurt Vonnegut. His first teaching job was at Windham College in Vermont followed by assistant professorship at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and writer in residence at Brandeis University in 1978-79. When asked to define his style, Irving says, "I follow the form of the 19th century novel," a form he describes as "intelligent soap opera."

Irving married Shyla Leary as an undergraduate and they had two sons, the first, Colin, when Irving was 23. They divorced in 1981. Irving, also a wrestling coach, later married his agent, Canadian Janet Turnbull and had another son. They maintains two homes, one in southern Vermont and another in Toronto, Canada.

In 1998, he began his 12th novel, "Until I Find You," published in 2005. The novel is considered his most autobiographical to date. During its writing, in 2001, he discovered more about his biological father than he had ever known prior. His birth father, John Wallace Blunt, divorced Irving's mother and signed away all visitation rights when John was 2 years old; his name was changed to John Irving four years later, when his mother married Colin Irving, a teacher.

After Irving divorced his first wife, in 1981, his mother gave him a letter that his biological father had sent her during WWII. He expressed interest in staying in touch with young John's life, but Irving's mother refused the contact. Irving didn't try to contact Blunt, instead weaving details of his father's WWII experience into his novels, hoping Blunt would contact him. In December 2001, Irving was contacted by a man named Chris Blunt, who had seen Irving in a TV interview. Chris Blunt turned out to be Irving's half-brother. Irving then learned that the father they shared had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder five years prior to his death in 1996.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1966 (Son Colin born)
  • Work : New Job 1978 (Teaching fellowship at Brandeis Univ.)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1981 (From Shyla)
  • Social : Secrets revealed 2001 (About birth father)

Source Notes

Gauquelin Book of American Charts


  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Dyslexia
  • Family : Childhood : Advantaged (Prep schools)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Birth dad shot down in WW II)
  • Family : Childhood : Parent, Single or Step (Loved his step-father)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (One)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Three sons)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Home centered (Maintains two home sites)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction