The Fiction bookstore features novels that inlcude HIV/AIDS in their plots. Books are listed in alphabetical order by title. Click the title to read more about each book. Missing your favorite book? Click here to send us your recommendations.
- Be Safe
- Christodora: A Novel
- Ghosts of St. Vincent’s
- The Great Believers
- Hate: A Romance: A Novel
- Perfect for Me
- The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House
- The Troubleseeker
- This Shadow Follows Me
- Visiting Hours
The worst of the AIDS epidemic has passed with the discovery of new medications. But not everyone rejoices. Certain groups of gay men rebel when they find it impossible to embrace the notion that they’re suddenly expected to slough off their “end dates” and become useful, vibrant members of society.
Two pairs of men experience a chance meeting on their way to a burrito joint in Hollywood. All are gay men with HIV/AIDS, all are drug addicts/sellers (Gallagher and Rogarth are recent alumni of a local drug rehab.; Bert and Korn are simply out of drugs for the moment and fear that they’re about to get busted.) Through the use of multiple focalizers, the lives and values of all characters are explored, shedding light on Queerness (including homosexuality), the nature of chronic disease (especially AIDS), addiction, recovery facilities, 12-Step programs, and, it’s hoped, revelation.
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.
“Before the entitled lived here exclusively, the marginalized died in droves.” Founded in 1849 to care for indigent immigrants in Greenwich Village, St. Vincent’s Hospital was sold in 2010 to create multi-million-dollar homes. In its 161 years of existence, the legendary institution treated survivors of the Titanic, tended to victims of both World Trade Center attacks, and served as Ground Zero of the AIDS Crisis. With honesty, humor, and flights of historical fancy, Ghost’s of St. Vincent’s tells the hospital’s story through the eyes of a man who spent a winter on its 7th floor AIDS ward and survived just in time for the drug “cocktail” that saved so many lives. Featuring appearances by indomitable icons (from Edna St. Vincent Millay to Robert Mapplethorpe, Sidney Lumet to Vito Russo, Ed Koch and The Ramones), Ghost’s of St. Vincent’s explores coming out and coming back from the dead, gender fluidity and gentrification, the price of forgiveness, the cost of survival, and the ephemeral nature of New York City.
In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.
Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.
In Hate: A Romance: A Novel, Tristan Garcia made headlines with his novel and topped the France bestseller lists. Following the lives of four friends, three men and one woman, throughout Paris in the 1980’s. Winner of France’s prestigious Prix de Flore in 2008, it is a thinly veiled, only partly fictionalized account of the bitter battle over barebacking between Didier Lestrade and Guillaume Dustan.
Sean Sullivan is a principal and a happy person, but he has one major complication. HIV. Frustrated with constant rejection, Sean decides to stop dating negative men. When a student experiences a crisis and Sean meets Emery Benton, the case worker assigned from Child Protective Services, his decision is challenged. Sparks fly the moment they meet, but Emery is negative and Sean doesn’t want the pain of another disappointment. As he struggles with his feelings for Emery, a war between the fear in his head and the fire in his heart force him to answer one simple question. Is this the perfect man for me?
Seattle, 1983. Frightened by the growing epidemic that has stricken his friends, Jeff flees New York for the Pacific Northwest, only to realize AIDS has a foothold in his new home. As he distracts himself with alcohol and one-night stands, Jeff meets Henry, an alluring younger man with a weakness for heroin. Despite the jarring contrasts in their personalities and backgrounds, the two are drawn inexorably together. But as their love develops, so do numerous complications. In an effort to halt their freefall into addiction, Jeff and Henry move in with Nan, a middle-aged divorcee who has turned her home into a sanctuary for gay men in crisis. The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House revisits the early years of AIDS in the Northwest with vivid detail, unrelenting honesty, and a profound compassion for a generation lost to the plague.
The Troubleseeker follows the contemporary odyssey of Antinio, a gay man born in post-revolutionary Havana, Cuba through his later life as a refugee in Key West, Minneapolis, San Diego and San Francisco. Narrated by the ancient Roman Emperor and demigod Hadrian,The Troubleseeker weaves Cuban Santería traditions with classical Greek mythology to depict Antinio’s quest to achieve both freedom and love.
This Shadow Follows Me is a work of fiction about a man named Alec Andrews and his friends and family that faltered around him.
The story begins at the death bed of Andrews’s ex boyfriend Troy who is dying of AIDS complications. Alec tries to tell Troy his life story in hopes that he can make up for all that he did not tell Troy when he was alive. Alec’s life story lurks with the self-destruction of a family that drove him to crucify himself, in hopes they would be correct with their religious beliefs. From a homophobic family to a homophobic upbringing, Alec fights to find himself free from the illusions that capture him.
In Jennifer Anne Moses’s fictional novel-in-stories, Visiting Hours, the down-and-out Southerners at an AIDS residence in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are all approaching death. But morbid and depressing this is not. The book, like each of these memorable and colorful characters, is brimming with life.