My Movie Business
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John Irving's memoir begins with his account of the distinguished career and medical writings of the novelist's grandfather Dr Frederick C. Irving, a renowned obstetrician and gynaecologist, and includes Mr Irving's incisive history of abortion politics in the United States. But My Movie Business focuses primarily on the thirteen years John Irving spent adapting his novel The Cider House Rules for the screen - for four different directors.
Mr Irving also writes about the failed effort to make his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, into a movie, about two of the films that were made from his novels (but not from his screenplays), The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire; about his slow progress at shepherding his screenplay of A Son of the Circus into production.
Not least, and in addition to its qualities as a memoir - anecdotal, comic, affectionate and candid - My Movie Business is an insightful essay on the essential differences between writing a novel and writing a screenplay.