BooksA Prayer For Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany

John Irving

Book Basics


A Prayer for Owen Meany


John Irving


March 1989




Novel, Bildungsroman


A Prayer for Owen Meany was the seventh published novel by American writer John Irving. Published in 1989, it tells the story of John Wheelwright and his best friend Owen Meany growing up together in a small New England town during the 1950s and 1960s. According to John's narration, Owen is a remarkable boy in many ways; he believes himself to be God's instrument and sets out to fulfill the fate he has prophesized for himself. The novel is also a homage to Günter Grass' most famous novel, The Tin Drum. Grass was a great influence for John Irving, as well as a close friend. The main characters of both novels, Owen Meany and Oskar Matzerath, share the same initials as well as some other characteristics, and their stories show some parallels. Irving has confirmed the similarities. A Prayer for Owen Meany, however, follows an independent and separate plot.


Dan Needham, Reverend Lewis Merrill, Tabby Wheelwright, John Wheelwright, Owen Meany

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