Five years after their college graduation, the devoted friends once known as “the Murphys” remain as inseparable as ever. As this absorbing novel opens in December 2008, they are making their way through heavy snowfall to gather at a lavish art world holiday party. But for all the glitz and glamor, the festivities mark a more momentous evening than any of them realize. Irene will first notice a curious lump under her eye. William will fall desperately in love with her. And George will, at long last, ask Sara to marry him.
Over the years that follow, this cast of rich, warmly drawn characters scrape by chasing their dreams in Great Recession New York. When a devastating blow threatens to tear them irreparably apart, they must struggle to carry on together. A powerful and transfixing follow-up to Kristopher Jansma’s celebrated debut, Why We Came to the City paints a portrait of a generation and tells an unforgettable story of hope, love, and friendship.
Kristopher Jansma is the author of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, winner of the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award. A graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program, he is now an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz and a Graduate Lecturer in Fiction at Sarah Lawrence College. He has written for The New York Times, Salon, The Believer, The Millions, and Electric Literature. He lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn, New York.