Trying To Save Piggy Sneed

Trying To Save Piggy Sneed

3.35 (5,724 ratings by Goodreads)
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Featuring six stories from John Irving, 'Trying to Save Piggy Sneed' also includes a piece from the author explaining why he became a writer.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 18mm | 160g
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552995738
  • 9780552995733
  • 408,052

Back cover copy

Here is a treat for John Irving addicts and a perfect introduction to his work for the uninitiated. In his spirited opening piece, Irving explains how he became a writer:

'A fiction writer's memory is an especially imperfect provider of detail; we can always imagine a better detail than the one we can remember. The correct detail is rarely exactly what happened; the most truthful detail is what could have happened, or what should have...Being a writer is a strenuous marriage between careful observation and just as carefully imagining the truths you haven't had the opportunity to see. The rest is the necessary strict toiling with the language...'

'With that in mind I think that I have become a writer because of my grandmother's good manners and - more specifically - because of a retarded garbage collector to whom my grandmother was always polite and kind.'

There follows six scintillating stories written over the past twenty years, including The Pension Grillparzer, previously only to be found inside The World According To Garp, and now given its first independent airing. The collection ends with a homage to Charles Dickens, of which the Sunday Telegraph said, 'so rousingly old-fashioned, so intelligent, so heart-felt, so politically incorrect and so correct in every way that matters, that it makes you want to dance naked through the streets brandishing a copy of Great Expectations.'
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Review Text

"Inventive incident, deft characterization and vivid language are all here"
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About 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.'

In 1963, Irving enrolled at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, and he later worked as a university lecturer. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, about a plot to release all the animals from the Vienna Zoo, was followed by The Water-Method Man, a comic tale of a man with a urinary complaint, and The 158-Pound Marriage, which exposes the complications of spouse-swapping. Irving achieved international recognition with The World According to Garp, which he hoped would 'cause a few smiles among the tough-minded and break a few softer hearts'.

The Hotel New Hampshire is a startlingly original family saga, and The Cider House Rules is the story of Doctor Wilbur Larch - saint, obstetrician, founder of an orphanage, ether addict and abortionist - and of his favourite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted. A Prayer for Owen Meany features the most unforgettable character Irving has yet created. A Son of the Circus is an extraordinary evocation of modern day India. John Irving is also the author of the international bestsellers A Widow for One Year, The Fourth Hand and Until I Find You.

A collection of John Irving's shorter writing, Trying to Save Piggy Sneed, was published in 1993. Irving has also written the screenplays for The Cider House Rules and A Son of the Circus, and wrote about his experiences in the world of movies in his memoir My Movie Business.

Irving has had a life-long passion for wrestling, and he plays a wrestling referee in the film of The World According to Garp. In his memoir, The Imaginary Girlfriend, John Irving writes about his life as a wrestler, a novelist and as a wrestling coach. He now writes full-time, has three children and lives in Vermont and Toronto.
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Rating details

5,724 ratings
3.35 out of 5 stars
5 11% (626)
4 30% (1,723)
3 44% (2,530)
2 13% (734)
1 2% (111)
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