Christodora

4.27 based on 1204 ratings & 284 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 23.02.2017
ISBN: 9781509818600
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

In this vivid and compelling novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan's East Village, the Christodora. The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbour, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly's and Jared's lives in ways none of them can anticipate. Meanwhile, the couple's adopted son, Mateo, grows to appreciate the opportunities for both self-realization and oblivion that New York offers.

As the junkies and protestors of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and they, in turn, to the wealthy residents of the crowded, glass-towered city of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them. Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a response to the AIDS epidemic, to the New York City of the future, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life the ever-changing city itself.

In the media

Tim Murphy's rich saga of New York in the age of AIDS . . . To write a novel as full of truth as Christodora . . . Tim Murphy had to know Manhattan; he had to know AIDS; he had to be fluent in the languages of visual art, addiction, activism, bipolar disease and depression; he had to have American cultural history from 1981 at his fingertips . . . Then he had to make all that information disappear, more or less, by seamlessly embodying it in characters and plot . . . He pulls it off with very few lapses, developing a rich and complicated New York saga . . . An exciting read . . . While Christodora has the scope of other New York epics, such as Bonfire of the Vanities, The Goldfinch and City on Fire, it is slimmer than any of these by several hundred pages. Capacious yet streamlined, it is a very fine book.
New York Newsday
[Murphy] writes about addiction with undeniable fluency and power.
Sunday Times
Brilliant . . . this year's most ambitious and devastating contribution to the New York City realist novel
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