Chris Adrian was born in Washington, D.C. A graduate of the Iowa
Writers' Workshop, he is currently a medical student in Virginia. Part of
this novel first appeared in The New Yorker under the title 'Every
Night for a Thousand Years' and was subsequently collected in Best
American Short Stories 1998. His fiction has also appeared in The Paris
Review, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, and Story.
Mr. Adrian lives in San Francisco, where he is a fellow in pediatric hematology-oncology.
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Chris Adrian discusses his first novel, Gob's Grief.
What was the inspiration for Gob's Grief? Was it the period, the plot,
My brother died in an automobile accident in 1993, and shortly after that I started a novel about an actor who plays a physician on a soap-opera. It bears no resemblance to Gob's Grief but shares with it a title and a concern with characters, living and dead, who try variously to understand, deny, accept, or defeat their mortality. The novel underwent many transmogrifications of plot, character, and setting, some of them truly strange and even a little gruesome, before a friend introduced me to Mrs. Woodhull, and Mrs. Woodhull introduced me to a New York in the years after the Civil War. I credit Mrs. Woodhull with saving what was otherwise doomed to be a failed effort and probably a lifelong source of misery for the author. I think I can safely call her and her time the inspiration for the book, while the events in my life that required me to write this novel are perhaps best called something else that connotes less airy joy and more unhappy obsession. I suppose I could call it the desperation, rather than the inspiration, for the novel. In any case, ...
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