This month, Brooklyn writer Kristopher Jansma is releasing his debut novel “TheUnchangeable Spots of Leopards” (Viking; On-sale: March 25, 2013). Already receiving high praise, Jansma’s book follows the worldwide travels of a deliberately unreliable narrator and his two friends: Julian McGann, a brilliant but troubled collegiate literary rival, and the high-society Broadway actress Evelyn, also known as the girl who got away.
Struggling to define themselves as individuals but inextricably bound together, the three chase love, success, and each other from jazz clubs in Manhattan to a writer’s colony in Iceland, from the mountains of Sri Lanka to a wedding on the lip of the Grand Canyon. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, the narrator weaves an intricate web of fiction around himself that allows him to dodge responsibility—but never fully escape it. It is only once he is able to put aside his fictions and confess his own role that he is set free.
As much a coming-of-age story about a young man and his friends trying to find their way in the world as an exploration of the nature of truth, “The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards” will appeal to readers of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and David Mitchell’s The Cloud Atlas, with its elegant study of the stories we tell to find out who we really are.
Called “a brilliant writer of energetic, original, intelligent, skillful and highly imaginative and hysterically funny fiction” by Stephen Dixon, author of “His Wife Leaves Him,” and “a writer to watch” by Library Journal, Kristopher Jansma is sure to be one of 2013’s new literary heavyweights.
Kristopher Jansma is a lecturer at Manhattanville College and SUNY Purchase, and writes a monthly column for Electric Literature’s blog, “The Outlet.” His short stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and he was selected as a finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2011 Fiction Contest. Kristopher lives with his wife in Brooklyn, NY.
Jansma will appear at powerHouse Arena on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. for a reading and book launch party. powerHouse is located at 37 Main St. in DUMBO.