There can never be too many New York novels, especially New York novels as vivid and passionate as Christodora (Grove, $26), by Tim Murphy. Murphy paints the lives of his many characters against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic, art, and the changing city. The stories he tells are stunning, gritty, and devastating. Murphy takes the reader right into the 1980s and inside the devastation and broken lives of those affected by the epidemic, as well as chronicling lesser-known histories of AIDS activism. The disease is the great equalizer, and yet ultimately Christodora is not just about the fight against AIDS. It is also about struggling against personal demons, addiction, and mental illness as well as about the search for family and forgiveness. Chapter by chapter, the characters’ stories piece together a great narrative quilt that makes this novel one of the most emotionally intense and extraordinary reading experiences.
Christodora - Tim Murphy