What’s Goin’ On

The Return of 'Garp'

John Irving novel to become an HBO miniseries


"The World According to Garp" is coming around again, this time as an HBO miniseries.

Author John Irving revealed Tuesday night that the cable network and Warner Bros. recently approached him with the idea of reconstructing his breakthrough bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Award in 1979. It was three years later made into a movie starring Robin Williams, Glenn Close and John Lithgow.

"My first response," Irving told an audience at the Brooklyn Public Library just after taping his appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," "was 'A much younger, much angrier person wrote that novel and you should find a much younger and angrier person to write and direct that miniseries.'"

The 73-year-old writer, in town to tout his new novel, "Avenue of Mysteries," says he even suggested a candidate. "But when it didn't work out, they came back to me and said, 'We'd like it to be you.'"

The project is still in the early stages, but Irving sees the revived "Garp" as a five-part series, the equivalent of "two and a half feature films," he points out. "That's a lot more breathing room for me—and I get to tell it the way I write a novel: episodically."