LitCity Lore: John Irving Places Two Novels in Iowa City

With LitCity Lore, we periodically feature a story from our new LitCity website, which maps unique Iowa City literary stories to the locations where writers lived, worked, gave readings, socialized and were inspired by the town.

This week we are highlighting the multiple appearances of Iowa City as a location in John Irving’s novels.

In The Water Method Man, the main character, a Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature at The University of Iowa, lives at 918 Iowa Avenue and sells football pennants. The wounded hero, carrying a dead duck, looks “across the river, on the bank that looks like an Army barracks — stacked with the war-built Quonset huts, now called Married Student Housing.”

And in Irving’s The World According to Garp, T.S. Garp writes about a visiting professor looking out of his office window in the English-Philosophy Building (EPB). Garp’s father-in-law “had been a two-time Big Ten wrestling champion at the University of Iowa.”

Explore this story and more at the LitCity website.

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