John Irving competed as a wrestler for twenty years. His novels include The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and In One Person. His fourteenth novel, Avenue of Mysteries, will be published in fall 2015. He lives in Toronto.
Here is the first sentence of my autobiographical essay “Trying to Save Piggy Sneed,” which was originally published in the New York Times Book Review of August 22, 1982. I was forty. I wrote: “This is a memoir, but please . . .