This May, John Irving was awarded the Medal of Honor for Literature by the National Arts Club. The Medal of Honor is a prestigious award presented to the most influential artists in their fields.
In a press release issued by the NAC, Mr. Irving gave a nod to past recipients of the Gold Medal in Literature: “When I was a younger writer, Eudora Welty, Norman Mailer, John Updike, Philip Roth, and Edgar Doctorow befriended me. When my wife, Janet, and I were married in Toronto, Robertson Davies read from the Bible. Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie have been my friends for forty years. I’m happy to receive this Medal of Honor, and to be in such distinguished company.”
In 2019, John Irving received the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and, in recent years, he was also recognized for his body of work at the New England Book Awards.