In this program, listen to John Irving reading from his new book, In One Person.
It’s easy to meet Billy Abbott. You open John Irving’s ‘In One Person’ and start reading. By the end of the first paragraph, you’re immersed in the revelations of his first love, writing, and his other first love, the librarian Miss Frost. His imagination is born and without effort, you find yourself in First Sister, Vermont. It’s 1961, and Billy is 13 years old. He imagines having sex with Miss Frost and he’s re-reading Great Expectations. He never knew his father, but his grandfather plays women’s roles in the local theater group. He’s awash in a world of acceptable sexual ambiguity, and coming of age in a world that tolerates no sexual ambiguity.