A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany


By (author) John Irving

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 720 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 192mm x 36mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 1 May 1990
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552993697
  • ISBN 13: 9780552993692
  • Sales rank: 21,322

Product description

'If you care about something you have to protect it. If you're lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it'. Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother. Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is both extraordinary and terrifying.

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Author information

John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times - winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story 'Interior Space'. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules - a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent novel is Last Night in Twisted River.

Review quote

"I believe it to be a work of genius... because of its absolutely irrepressible flow of invention and suggestion, expressed in some of the most fascinating prose written in fiction today. Originality has distinguished all Mr Irving's books, but in A Prayer For Owen Meany it achieves a new pitch and a new profundity" Independent "Marvellously funny... What better entertainment is there than a serious book which makes you laugh?" Spectator "So extraordinary, so original, and so enriching" The Washington Post "May justly join the classic American list" Observer "A heartbreaking masterpiece of a novel... tremendously ambitious and fiendishly clever" -- Dominic Holland Sunday Express

Editorial reviews

'I am a Christian because of Owen Meany,' says the boy whose mother he accidentally killed by his foul ball in an 11-year-old's game of Little League baseball in 1953. Thereafter Owen believes himself to be an instrument in God's plan which is to come to a terrifying culmination in the years of the Vietnam war. In the diminuitive Owen Meaney, Irving created one of the most original voices in twentieth century fiction. This memorable story of religion, friendship, family and heroism spans several decades of American history and sees Irving at his finest. (Kirkus UK)