Chris Adrian Sets the Record Straight

Chris Adrian, author of two of the finest novels published this millenium, answered a few questions about The Children's Hospital, which we discussed in the current issue. As it turns out, we kinda had it wrong. Adrian's latest novel, The Great Night, is due out from FSG this spring.

What makes Boston a good locus for the apocalypse?

I suppose it's an appealing location to set an American apocalypse because of all the history contained here. There's something that appeals to me about the idea of setting an end-times story in the place where you could argue that the country, in some respects, began.

Are you through at Harvard?

Yes, I just found out I squeaked by and passed Greek, and so this was my last semester there.

The Children’s Hospital didn’t come out that long ago. That said, if you were to write about Boston or Children’s today, would you see them any differently?

Actually, I've always conceived of TCH as having been set in San Francisco, though the hospital I had in mind shared characteristics with a few different children's hospitals I encountered in the course of doing interviews to select a residency. Children's wasn't actually one of those, though a good number of the things I thought I was making up for my imaginary children's hospital turned out actually to exist at Children's. I think the closest I've come to writing about Boston was setting part of my first novel in Matunuck, RI, but the collection of stories I'm working on now takes place in and around Boston between about 1630 and 2010.

Any predictions for the future of Boston?

I think people will start to let their hair down a little by 2250.

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