Trying to Save Piggy Sneed by John Irving
New York : Arcade Publishing, 1996. Signed by John Irving. Third printing. Hardcover. 432 pages ; 22 cm. Good clean copy with unmarked pages and firm binding.
Trying to Save Piggy Sneed contains a dozen short works by John Irving, beginning with three memoirs—two of which (including an account of Mr. livings dinner with President Reagan at the White House) are new to American readers. The newest and longest of the memoirs, "The Imaginary Girlfriend," is the core of this collection.
The middle section of the book is fiction. In 28 years, John Irving has written eight novels—but only a half-dozen short stories that he considers "finished"; they are all published here. In the third and final section are three essays of appreciation: one on Giinter Grass, two on Charles Dickens.
To each of the 12 pieces, which cover 30 years of writing, Mr. Irving has contributed his Authors Notes. These notes provide some perspective on the circumstances surrounding the writing of each piece—for example, an election-year diary of the Bush-Clinton campaigns accompanies Mr. livings memoir of his dinner with Ronald Reagan; and the notes to one of Irving s short stories explain that the story was presented and sold to Playboy as the work of a woman.
Trying to Save Piggy Sneed is both as moving and as mischievous as readers would expect from the author of The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and A Son of the Circus. And Mr. Irving's concise autobiography, "The Imaginary Girlfriend," is both a work of the utmost literary accomplishment and a paradigm for living.
John Irving has three sons. He lives in Vermont and Toronto with his wife, Janet, and their four-year-old son Everett.
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