John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty-six. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven. Mr. Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp. In 2000, Mr. Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. An international writer—his novels have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. John Irving lives in Toronto.