Chris AdrianChris Adrian (BA, 1993)

There was a time – not-so-long-ago – when pediatrician, novelist, and theologian, Chris Adrian roamed the halls of Turlington. As an undergraduate, Chris was already tending to his gift for storytelling, penning fiction in creative writing classes with Padgett Powell, whom he unhesitatingly declares “the best teacher I ever had in my life.” Chris received his Bachelor’s degree in English in 1993, the first of the many diplomas to come. On top of an MFA in fiction writing from the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Chris also has an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He completed a pediatric residency at the University of California in San Francisco, and is now in the throes of pursuit a Ph.D. at Harvard Divinity School.

This penchant for writing his self-dubbed “goofy fiction” – first cultivated at UF – has indeed emerged as a unique and rare talent. Chris is now a writer known for his “deep-veined intellect.” His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, including The New Yorker, Zoetrope All-Story, Ploughshares, The Paris Review, and McSweeney’s. His work has been anthologized in the Best American series. His first novel, Gob’s Grief, was published in 2001 and critically hailed as “remarkable,” “utterly different,” and “impressive.”  Not bad for a first novel. 

His interests in medicine and theology converged in the writing of his second novel, The Children’s Hospital. Published by McSweeney’s in 2006, The Children’s Hospital is an apocalyptic tale: After a catastrophic world flood, only a children’s hospital is preserved afloat. In the New York Times Book Review, Myla Goldberg remarked: “To read Chris Adrian is to take part in the exciting process of watching a talented and original writer gain mastery of his powerful gifts.”

Chris Adrian’s latest book, A Better Angel, is a collection of short stories published in fall 2008.  The Boston Globe has called it “[Chris Adrian’s] best work yet.”  S. Kirk Walsh in The New York Times wrote: “Unspeakable grief and the innate will to survive create opposing forces in these stories, producing a universe bursting with humor and life.”

Read Adrian's profile as one of Esquire’s “Best and Brightest of 2007”: <http://www.esquire.com/features/best-brightest-2007/adrian1207>

Listen to an interview with Michael Silverblatt on KCRW’s Bookworm <http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/bw/bw061207chris_adrian>