The Christadora is a building in NYC. This book is about the residents of that building. No, it begins with that building but stretches to include the city, the country. No, it's about a family. Not really, it's about the AIDS crisis in the 80's. Nope, not that either. It's about growing up and growing old. Yes, but not just that. It's about race, class and sexuality set against the backdrop of city in the throes of an epidemic. Maybe. Let's just say it's a thick book that will draw you in and make you live in its pages and then miss being there when you're done. Yes, the book has some problems ranging from one character being vegan on one page and eating a turkey burger on the next to the narrator using the word "tranny" to describe someone. (Side note- even if you're reaching for a gritty word to further your narrative and garner street cred, tranny is only OK when describing the transmission your uncle Rex pulled out of a 1984 Buick. Never when describing a person.) Those issues aside, the story is exquisitely told. The pacing is spot on. All but one of the characters are three dimensional and so real you could swear you either know them or are, in fact, them. Read it. -Jay's September Staff Pick, 2016
“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 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 neighbor, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, 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 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 true 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.
About the Author
Tim Murphy has reported on HIV/AIDS for twenty years, for such publications as POZ Magazine, where he was an editor and staff writer, Out, Advocate, and New York magazine, where his July 2014 cover story on the new HIV-prevention pill regimen PrEP was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Magazine Journalism. He also covers LGBT issues, arts, pop culture, and travel for publications including the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Details, and Yahoo! Style. He is the author of Getting Off Clean and The Breeders Box. He lives in Brooklyn.