John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany.
This book is nothing short of extraordinary. I loved every minute of reading it. The world Irving paints is so visceral and moving and hilarious. Once you become a teenager, you should be required to read this once every five years until you have children, and then once every 10.
I didn’t read this until I was in my late 20’s (or early 30’s, I can’t recall). I was gifted Owen Meany, along with a few other books from my friend Holle Singer, somewhere around 2005. I think the books were holiday presents (she’s a fantastic gift-giver).
Holle is one of the most creative and talented people I’ve ever met, and assisting her was an invaluable step to my career as an editor and artist. The hours and hours spent watching her work, and deconstructing her timelines to see how she created what she edited, was maddeningly educational. Unfortunately, It’s been years since we’ve seen each other. Maybe soon…
So like I mentioned in the last entry, as I close in on 100 things I’m pulling out some tough things to let go of. This is absolutely one of them.
I found a piece of paper with a quote of Irving’s that I had written while reading the book. It was inserted between pages 74-75: “If you care about something, you have to protect it – if you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”