August 2016 Indie Next List
“Murphy uses Christodora House, an historic apartment building in the East Village of New York City, as the namesake and backdrop of his compelling debut novel. The story follows the lives of several residents over the course of four decades, expertly detailing the intersections of art and ambition, activism and loss, and the consequences of addiction and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. I can think of no novel in recent memory in which I felt so drawn to its characters and so emotionally invested in the outcome of their lives.”
— Shawn Donley (E), Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR
In this epic, ambitious, and deeply poignant novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse group of people whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan's East Village, the Christodora. Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and the activism of the 1980s to a future New York City of the 2020s where subzero winters are a thing of the past, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, portrays the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life a bohemian Lower Manhattan of artists and idealists. On Avenue B in the East Village, the Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbor, Hector, a gay Puerto Rican man who was at one point celebrated for his work as an AIDS activist but has now descended into the throes of drug addiction, becomes connected to Milly and Jared's lives in ways none of them can anticipate. Meanwhile, Milly and Jared's adopted son Mateo grows to see the opportunity for both self-realization and oblivion offered by New York City. As the junkies and protestors of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and they in turn to the wealthy inhabitants of the glass towers of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them. Christodora is a panoramic novel that powerfully evokes the danger, chaos, and wonder of New York City--and the strange and moving ways in which its dwellers' lives can intersect.