Chris Adrian’s novel The Great Night is on my to-read list. I can’t believe I just found out about it; Adrian wrote one of my very favorite stories, “A Tiny Feast,” and The Great Night is a further expansion of this remarkable and poignant story. I’m so looking forward to going back into his world. For now, here’s my review of A Tiny Feast from 2009.

I loved this story, for the fantasy and the heart and the humor and the humanity and the sorrow. If you love good fantasy, you will pick up a copy of the April 20 New Yorker. You will not be disappointed. For some reason I always get my New Yorker way the hell past the time the rest of the country does  (maybe it has trouble clearing customs? Thank you Rick Perry) so it might not be available on newsstands anymore, but do your best.

I hope that this is nominated for a World Fantasy award, as well as an O’Henry and any other literary award out there. I wish that the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror were still being published, because this story would have pride of place. Thankfully there are other Year’s Best fantasies. David Hartwell and Katherine Cramer, are you listening? Please read this story and reprint it. Please.

I usually flip past the stories in the New Yorker, because of their unbearable plotless dullness, as if slice-of-life vignettes with clever lit’ry tricks make up for an actual story. I have no idea why modern Irish writers, for example, who have a rich heritage of storytelling, should write such dull, lifeless stuff. Ditto for the Russians and the Chinese they were publishing in spates in years past. Naturalism ruined the short story in mainstream literature. Ruined it. Yes, I’m bitter.

And I almost flipped past this story because it was a fantasy, and it was written by an “outsider” and I just didn’t want to see fantasy butchered by people who think they are being oh so clever and isn’t this easy to write? Adrian isn’t an outsider, it turns out. His fiction bridges the modern and the fantastic, and he has a well-deserved following. So there!

Find a copy. Read it. Love it.


5 Comments

hannah · May 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I just finished reading the story. It was very moving. It expressed the extreme sadness of the parents in very vivid terms. It reminded me of one of my favorite books “The Stolen Child” I will be reading more of this author’s writing.

Patrice Sarath · May 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm

It did what the best fantasy does — expresses the other and gives it humanity. I’ll be looking out for more of his work too.

Michael. Gerleman · February 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

I have loved this story since it came out. I am excited to discover there is a novel.

Patrice Sarath · February 24, 2017 at 5:05 pm

It was perfect in almost every way. The novel includes the full short as a chapter, so you get it as a bonus.

Short Story Club: “A Tiny Feast” « Torque Control · August 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm

[…] Patrice Sarath: loved this story, for the fantasy and the heart and the humor and the humanity and the sorrow. If you love good fantasy, you will pick up a copy of the April 20 New Yorker. You will not be disappointed. For some reason I always get my New Yorker way the hell past the time the rest of the country does (maybe it has trouble clearing customs? Thank you Rick Perry) so it might not be available on newsstands anymore, but do your best. […]

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