Famed Novelist and Screenwriter John Irving to Visit Willamette University

Acclaimed American writer John Irving will deliver the spring Atkinson Lecture at Willamette University on Feb. 24.

Irving's presentation is part of Willamette University's Atkinson Lecture Series, established in 1956 to bring internally prominent leaders, authors and actors to campus. It will be held in Smith Auditorium, which seats 1,230. The university will also host a live feed of the presentation in Hudson Hall, which seats 415. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the presentation begins at 8 p.m.

Irving's first international bestseller, The World According to Garp, introduced readers to his inventive and expansive style, memorable characters and masterfully interwoven stories. The World According to Garp won a National Book Award in 1980 and was made into a film starring Robin Williams that earned Academy Award nominations for John Lithgow and Glenn Close.

Since the release of The World According to Garp, all of Irving's novels (including A Son of the Circus, A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Widow for One Year, The Fourth Hand and Until I Find You) have been translated into more than 30 languages and sold tens of millions of copies. His novel, The Cider House Rules, was made into a movie in 1999 that garnered him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Irving has won the O. Henry Award as well as awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2001, Irving was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His most recent book, Last Night in Twisted River, was released in October, prompting the Los Angeles Times to write, "‘Last Night in Twisted River' mulls the crises that steep Irving's finest work, from ‘Garp' to ‘Owen Meany' to ‘Widow.' Yet the scale here is more human, and his approach more humane, than anything that's come before."


Tickets are available to Willamette students, faculty and staff beginning Monday, Feb. 8, at the Information Center on the first floor of Putnam University Center. The first ticket is free with a valid Willamette University ID and subsequent tickets are $15, with a limit of four per person. Staff and students at the Portland MBA campus may call the Information Center, 503-370-6300, to arrange holding tickets at Will Call. A valid WU ID is required to claim your tickets.

Tickets remaining after distribution to the campus community will be available to the public on Feb. 15. General admission seating is $25; non-refundable tickets can be purchased with cash or check at the information desk on the first floor of the Putnam University Center. 

For more ticket information, visit the Atkinson Lecture website.