Irving achieved critical and popular acclaim after the international success of The World According to Garp in 1978. ) In addition to his novels he has also publiJohn Irvingd Trying to Save Piggy Sneed a collection of his writings including a brief memoir and unpubliJohn Irvingd short fiction My Movie Business an account of the protracted process of bringing The Cider House Rules to the big screen and The Imaginary Girlfriend a short memoir focusing on writing and wrestling. ) a main character dealing with an absent or unknown parent a main character who is involved in film making and unusual sexual relationships (and often what Irving as referred to as "sexual outsiders") such as incest bestiality or between young men and older women.
Five of his novels have been adapted to film. He won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1999 for his script The Cider House Rules.