American novelist, born in Exeter, New Hampshire. His serio‐comic novels, which display great individuality of style and imagination, began with Setting Free the Bears (1968), about two young men on a motorcycle tour of Austria who plot to free all the animals in the Vienna zoo. This was followed by The Water‐Method Man (1972) and The 158‐Pound Marriage (1974). With The World According to Garp (1978), the comic biography of a writer, he achieved spectacular international success. Further novels include The Hotel New Hampshire (1981), The Cider House Rules (1985), A Prayer for Owen Meaney (1989), A Son of the Circus (1994), about an expatriate Parsi surgeon who returns to India and becomes involved in the repercussions of two murders committed twenty years earlier, and Fourth Hand (2001). Trying to Save Piggy Sneed (1993) is a collection of short stories.