John Irving, one of the world’s greatest novelists, returns with his first novel in seven years—a ghost story, a love story, and a lifetime of sexual politics.
In Aspen, Colorado, in 1941, Rachel Brewster is a slalom skier at the National Downhill and Slalom Championships. Little Ray, as she is called, finishes nowhere near the podium, but she manages to get pregnant. Back home, in New England, Little Ray becomes a ski instructor.
Her son, Adam, grows up in a family that defies conventions and evades questions concerning the eventful past. Years later, looking for answers, Adam will go to Aspen. In the Hotel Jerome, where he was conceived, Adam will meet some ghosts; in The Last Chairlift, they aren’t the first or the last ghosts he sees.
John Irving has written some of the most acclaimed books of our time—among them, The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules. A visionary voice on the subject of sexual tolerance, Irving is a bard of alternative families. In The Last Chairlift, readers will once more be in his thrall.
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. He is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 1980, Mr. Irving won a National Book Award for his novel The World According to Garp. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person. An international writer, his novels have been translated into almost forty languages. His all-time bestselling novel, in every language, is A Prayer for Owen Meany. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, John Irving lives in Toronto.
“It is impossible to imagine the American – or international – literary landscape without John Irving…. He is as close as one gets to a contemporary Dickens in the scope of his celebrity and the level of his achievement.” Time
“At the base of Irving’s own moral concerns is a rare and lasting regard for human kindness.” The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Wickedly knowing, mischievously post-modern and magical realist along the lines of Günter Grass, Gabriel García Márquez and Robertson Davies.” Time Out, London
“When reading an Irving novel, the outside world becomes just a distraction, and real life happens inside the reader’s head.” Der Spiegel, Hamburg
“He is more than popular. He is a Populist, determined to keep alive the Dickensian tradition that revels in colorful set pieces...and teaches moral lessons.” The New York Times
“Irving offers…a faith in patient storytelling and the conviction that narrative hunger is part of our essence.” The Globe and Mail, Toronto
“Because of his relentless determination…John Irving has become the incarnation of the ‘great American novelist’ par excellence with his fabulous gift as a storyteller and ability to give food for thought.” L’Express, Paris
“Irving’s sometimes burlesque but always moving novels are a plea for mercy and tolerance.” De Groene Amsterdammer, Amsterdam
“Irving’s novels are not just page-turners. Time and time again, he forces readers to consider important social issues…in a way reminiscent of Dickens.” The Guardian, London
“Irving’s characters can beguile us onto thin ice and persuade us to dance there. His instinctive mark is the moral choice stripped bare, and his aim is impressive.” The Washington Post Book World
“More than forty years [after Garp], thanks to his devastating irony, quiet provocation, comical obsessions, priapic debauchery, sex and neuroses on all levels, John Irving remains unrivaled.” Le Monde, Paris