Panther Reads

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving


Allyssa Daigle

English teacher Nancy Close holds up one of her favorite books, “A Prayer from Owen Meany.” The book is about two best friends living life together during the 1950s.

Allyssa Daigle, Staff Writer

English teacher Nancy Close had a great experience reading “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. “A Prayer for Owen Meany” ended up being Irving’s best selling book in every language.

“The way that it’s structured is incidental, funny stories about them as kids and stuff they used to do but it actually has important symbolic and thematic plot points,” Close said.

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” is about the main character, John Wheelwright, telling the story of him and his best friend Owen Meany growing up together in a small town in New Hampshire during the 1950s. It is written from the perspective of John Wheelwright in the present day of 1989 when the book was published.

John Irving was born on March 2, 1942, and started writing in 1968 when his first novel “Setting Free the Bears” was published. He then went on to coach wrestling for 20 years, writing books on the side. Once he published “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” his career as an author kicked off, and he has been writing ever since.

“When you first read it, you can just enjoy it at the level of entertainment,” Close said. “It actually has some relatively serious religious and philosophical questions that are then woven into the overarching structure of the book.” 

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” is an entertaining, lively book about best friends living life in the ‘50s.