The American writer sports a maple leaf tattoo to commemorate his marriage to his Canadian wife.
Ottawa - Author John Irving is
American, but in his heart, or at least on his
shoulder, he is Canadian. The New Hampshire-born author of such celebrated best-sellers as The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules has a maple leaf tattooed on his front left shoulder.
The leaf is meant to honour Irving's wife, Janet Turnbull-Irving, a prominent Toronto literary agent. Having divorced his first wife, Shyla Leary, Irving perhaps figured that a maple leaf, rather than the word "Janet" was a smarter way to create a permanent souvenir of the marriage, just in case there is ever a wife No. 3.
The tattoo, along with a second one in tribute to Irving's favorite sport, wrestling, was obtained in Amsterdam during his visits to promote his 1998 book, A Widow for One Year, which was set partially in the prostitution parlours of the Dutch city.
Irving is now researching tattooing for a forthcoming novel.