Books: A Saga of Loss And Recovery

John Irving's vivid ninth novel tells a tale worthy of Garp

It has been 20 years since John Irving's fourth novel, The World According to Garp, made its author famous. Not only did the book attract a massive readership, but it also inspired a cult following and such extra-literary phenomena as Garp T shirts and fan clubs. Irving's ninth novel, A Widow for One Year (Random House; 537 pages; $27.95), is unlikely to generate a similar hullabaloo. That is not because Irving's storytelling skills have waned; his new novel is in many respects his best since Garp. But over the past two decades, serious fiction has been elbowed ever further toward the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!