A Prayer for Owen Meany

Background

Following motifs of faith, religion, war and friendship, John Irving discussed the backstory of A Prayer for Owen Meany before an assembly of drama students at Yale University.[6] Irving revealed the "effects of the morbid Vietnam generation" on the plot of his novel. He tried to communicate, "a victim of the war, but not the victim you see coming from Vietnam."[6] He also mentioned a small boy from his New Hampshire Hometown, a boy named Russell, who inspired the character Owen Meany. This protagonist with a "rock-dust falsetto" became the kid from the granite quarry that later dies in the Vietnam War.[6] Critics also mentioned the similarities in plot between Irving's novels. Shostak recalled repetitive New Hampshire-based stories involving themes such as faith and determination.[3] Irving has also added that his "accumulated churchgoing" has influenced his writing process.[4]


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