Sunday, April 17, 2011

"The Great Night"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Great Night by Chris Adrian.

About the book, from the publisher:

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 home in exile for Titania, Oberon, and their court) on their way to a party. 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 threatens the lives of immortals and mortals alike.

The three heartbroken lovers will become lost in the park and within the memories of the people they lost or drove away, and each will remember through the course of the night that this is not the first time their lives have been touched by magic. In thrall to her old enemy, Titania puts all the resources of her kingdom at the disposal of a homeless man who thinks he can bring down the purportedly sinister mayor of San Francisco by staging a musical production of Soylent Green. Before the night ends the mortals are transformed, the show is staged, and Titania discovers, at great cost, a way to undo the menace she’s set free, if not to undo her grief.

Selected by The New Yorker as one the best young writers in America, Adrian has created a singularly playful, moving, and humorous novel—a story that charts the borders between reality and dreams, love and magic, and mortality and immortality.