In a major coup for Jonathan Karp at Simon & Schuster, the publisher has signed John Irving to a two-book deal, poaching the bestselling author from Random House. Karp has been reorganizing the flagship imprint since he took control of it in June, replacing David Rosenthal, and the deal with Irving marks one of his flashiest acquisitions since taking the reins.
Through the deal, which was brokered by Dean Cooke of the Canadaian-based Cooke Agency (handling on behalf of Irving's wife/agent, Janet Turnbull, at the Turnbull Agency), S&S will release Irving's next novel, In One Person, in June 2012 with a second book tentatively scheduled for 2015.
In One Person, which is narrated by a bisexual man, marks the author's first work done in first person since 1989's A Prayer for Owen Meany (which was originally published by William Morrow). S&S said the book marks a return to the sexual themes Irving famously explored in The World According to Garp and that the work is also the author's "most political" since his 1985 novel, which dealt with abortion, The Cider House Rules. Karp added that In One Person is "both timeless and deeply relevant to our times." Karp also noted that publishing Irving is "a privilege I have dreamed of since I was a young Random House editor and was introduced to John by his first editor, Joe Fox."