Famous, Retold Stories in Literature

Besides being an accomplished pediatrician, Chris Adrian was named one of the New Yorker‘s “20 Under 40” fiction writers last summer, and is also is pursuing a master’s degree at Harvard’s Divinity School, in case you thought he was a slouch. An excerpt from his novel is available here. We’re celebrating today’s release of The Great Night with ten of our favorite retold stories. Some of the following plots are lifted from ancient myths, while others come from relatively new novels. All have put a new spin on familiar tales, but have been able to make them their own. So read on, readers, and tell us what we’ve missed.

The Great Night by Chris Adrian

Chris Adrian’s retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is set in modern day San Francisco, and begins with three lonely souls who each cut through different parts of Buena Vista Park on their way to a party. Along the way, they all become horribly lost and are eventually stuck in an ever-expanding park with some very bizarre looking fairies, who tell them that the end is near. Titania, Oberon, and Puck all make appearances, though the focus of the novel is the many screwed up ways we deal with grief and loss.