“A novel (1978) by the US writer John Irving (b. 1942). T.S. Garp is the son of Jenny Fields, who is generally repelled by men but who as a nurse in the Second World War decides she wants a child. She chooses as father of her child a terminally brain-injured airman, whose only utterance is the meaningless syllable ‘Garp’; the ‘T.S.’ of the son’s name stands for ‘Technical Sargeant’. When Garp grows up he becomes the author of a novel called The World According to Bensenhaver, while his mother, retaining her nurse’s uniform, becomes a charismatic feminist leader. Both are eventually assassinated. A film version (1982), directed by George Roy Hill, starred Robin Williams in the title role and Glenn Close as his mother.”
Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.