‘Ending up here is a love story.’

In 2015, John Irving moved to Toronto permanently, after living part-time in Canada for over 30 years. In 2019, he became eligible to take the oath of citizenship. He is now a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada.
Irving spoke with the Toronto Star, the CBC, and The Washington Post about his late-in-life decision to undertake Canadian citizenship.
On social media, John Irving had this to say about his dual citizenship: “I think I see the U.S. more clearly from abroad than I did when I was living there. The perspective of home can be a little exclusionary, when you’re at home. It has always been a necessary perspective for me: to see my country through the eyes of others. Not unlike writing a novel — when the objective is to put yourself (and the reader) in someone else’s shoes, or to see the world from someone else’s point of view. And I care deeply about what happens in the U.S. — three generations of my family are still there. There’s never been a more vital time to vote, as an American, and I intend to keep voting.
Yet I fell in love with and married a Canadian woman. After more than 30 years, it was time for her to return home. Just as it is important to participate in the democratic process as an American, it’s important as a long-time resident of Canada to have some influence in decisions that affect not only my life but affect the lives of more vulnerable people in my community. The route to civic responsibility involves citizenship. Dual citizenship, while not formally recognized by the U.S., is permitted and accepted, and it’s important to me.”
You can read the Star piece here, or watch an excerpt with his interview with the CBC’s Rosemary Barton below.