New York City is big, loud, busy, full of people from all walks of life and all parts of the world, from the money-obsessed to hopeful immigrants to natives anxious about gentrification to newcomers anxious to remake the city to suit themselves. But what if the city were alive?
This premise underlies N.K. Jemisin's ambitious and wildly original novel The City We Became. When cities gather enough population and human energy, they emerge as living beings - and in the process they come to the attention of forces that want to prevent this process from happening. Now six people have to fight off these forces and save the city, one for each borough and one for New York as a whole -- a homeless young Black man, a former rapper turned city councilwoman, a newly arrived man with a shadowy past, a graduate student from India, a First Nations artist, and the anxiety-suffering daughter of an abusive white policeman. But can they learn to work with each other first? The story offers an opportunity to examine race and class relations in New York City, and also creates an imaginative experience that will leave you awed. - Michelle W. (Sunset)