CHRIS ADRIAN / The Great Night

Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 7:30pm
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One night in the middle of June three broken-hearted people walked into Buena Vista Park at nearly the same time, just after dark. One came from the north, out of the Haight, another climbed up out of the Castro from the east, and the last came from the west, out of the Sunset and Cole Valley: this one was already going in the wrong direction, and shortly all three of them would be lost. They were going to a seasonal party of the famously convivial Jordan Sasscock, at his home at 88 Buena Vista West (Molly was headed, mistakenly, to 88 Buena Vista East.) Jordan’s parties were as famously convivial as he was, and the invitations, while prized, were not exactly exclusive, because it was in the nature of his conviviality never to leave anyone feeling left out. There were swarms of people who trudged up the hill in the middle of every summer to drink Jordan’s beer and wine and stand on his roof and dance in his expansive garden. He was a lowly resident at the hospital nearby, but his grandmother had died five years before when he was still a medical student, leaving him the house and the garden and all the treasures and garbage she had stuffed into it in the eighty-nine years she had lived there: ruined priceless furniture and money under the mattresses and case after case of fancy cat food in the basement, and fifteen cats, only five of which were still alive on the night of the party, because affable as he was, Jordan didn’t much like cats, and he didn’t take very good care of them.

 

Acclaimed as a “gifted, courageous writer” (The New York Times), Chris Adrian brings all his extraordinary talents to bear in The Great Night -- a brilliant and mesmerizing retelling of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

On Midsummer Eve 2008, three people, each on the run from a failed relationship, become trapped in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park, the secret home of Titania, Oberon, and their court. On this night, something awful is happening in the faerie kingdom: in a fit of sadness over the end of her marriage, which broke up in the wake of the death of her adopted son, Titania has set loose an ancient menace, and the chaos that ensues will threaten the lives of immortals and mortals alike.

Adrian has created a singularly playful, heartbreaking, and humorous novel -- a story that charts the borders between reality and dreams, love and magic, and mortality and immortality.

Chris Adrian is the author of Gob’s Grief, The Children’s Hospital, and A Better Angel. Selected by The New Yorker as one of their “20 Under 40,” he lives in San Francisco, where he is a fellow in pediatric hematology-oncology.

 

Rivka Galchen interviews Chris Adrian

 

Books: 
The Great Night Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374166410
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 26th, 2011

The Children's Hospital Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780802143334
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - October 23rd, 2007

A Better Angel: Stories Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780312428532
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - July 21st, 2009