This game-changing novel features New York at the turn of the twentieth century, blurring the line between fact and fiction as the city and her people shake off the last trappings of the Gilded Age. The primary characters are the members of a wealthy family, an African-American musician, and a tenement-dwelling father and daughter. The lives of these characters intersect in ways that alter their futures as well as the world around them. The novel shows the city to be a place of sickening injustice, even as that same injustice propels a social revolution.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
In the ambitious spirit of Ragtime, this novel features cameos from real-life figures and features New York as a microcosm of the United States at a difficult crossroads in its history. With humor that belies the sometimes heavy subject matter, Chabon immerses the reader fully in Sammy and Joe’s world.
Girl in Translation
Long after Ellis Island ceased to be the entry point into the United States, the Statue of Liberty still welcomes immigrants to New York. For this reason, it’s hardly surprising that the city would be the focal point for many immigrant narratives. In this novel, Kimberly Chang struggles with culture shock and the language barrier as she works to achieve success. She draws on her impressive intelligence and strength to navigate the unfamiliar culture of a bustling city in this relatable tale of new beginnings.
A Fine Imitation
With a population of nearly 8.5 million squeezed into 304 square miles, it’s little wonder that New York City captivates authors’ imaginations the way it does. The novels below take full advantage of the possibilities and show the Big Apple as a place where anything can happen.
Featured Image: Reenya/Shutterstock; Author Photo: Nina Parker