The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards (eBook)
"F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson" (The Village Voice) in this inventive and witty debut about a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globe
From as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable—yet hopelessly earnest—narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer.
From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma’s irresistible narrator will be inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing, the eccentric and brilliantly talented Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Julian’s enchanting friend, Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing and to figure out who he really is, Jansma’s narrator finds himself caught in a never-ending web of lies.
As much a story about a young man and his friends trying to make their way in the world as a profoundly affecting exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards will appeal to readers of Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists and Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad with its elegantly constructed exploration of the stories we tell to find out who we really are.
About the Author
Kristopher Jansma is a lecturer at Manhattanville College and SUNY Purchase and writes a monthly column for Electric Literature’s blog The Outlet. He was selected as a finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2011 fiction contest, and his work has appeared in the Blue Mesa Review. He lives with his wife in New York City.
Praise for The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards…
"[A]n arresting debut...Jansma's characters deftly explore the blurred lines between fact and fiction, discovering the shades of truth that lie in between."
"Canny, seductive and utterly transfixing...A first novel with the strength and agility of a great cat leaping through rings of fire."
--Booklist (starred review)
“The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is my new exhibit A for the defense of literary fiction. A great read -- a must read. Kristopher Jasma is more than the real-deal. He's made himself, with this book, essential.”--Darin Strauss, author of More Than It Hurts You
“Light and airy, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is a funhouse of a novel about the outsized ambitions of authors and the sneaky power of storytelling. Kristopher Jansma's debut is a whimsical round-the-world tour that recalls Calvino, Millhauser and The Confidence Man.” --Stewart O’Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster
"Kristopher Jansma is a brilliant writer of energetic, original, intelligent, skillful and highly imaginative and hysterically funny fiction. Few writers of any age succeed in the chances he took with The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards. That he does so with such finesse, ease and maturity is astounding."--Stephen Dixon, author of What Is All This?
"The brilliance of this novel slays me! With an extravagance of wit and grace, Kristopher Jansma has masterfully composed a chimerical, matroshka doll of a story as gripping as it is inventive, as moving as it is hilarious, populated with fascinating, singular characters about whom you long to know more and more and more. (Even the extras are drawn in pitch-perfect detail.) It reminded me of so many favorite novels, from David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten to Gary Shteyngart’s The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, and yet it’s so deeply original that all comparisons fall out the window. This is the most fresh and exciting novel I’ve read in ages." --Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age
"Behold The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards: an eloquent, witty, and inventive debut novel about a promising young writer's persistent quest to reinvent himself. Kristopher Jansma masterfully explores the ways in which we lie in order to grasp the most inexplicable truths in art, life, and love. The protagonist is a trickster-artist and con artist alike; he is Houdini, Tom Ripleyand Hemingway rolled into one. But despite his web of lies, we can't help but root for him all the way to the end. The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is a tour de force--a nest of Russian dolls, with stories within stories, each tale bringing us a little closer to some glimmer of the truth." --Mira Bartok, author of The Memory Palace, winner of the National Book Critic's Circle Award
"Clever, smart and beautifully written, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is not only a story about storytelling but also a true celebration of the art. At times hilarious and heart-wrenching, Jansma has managed to produce a mind-bending and utterly unforgettable book."
--Andrew Porter, author of The Theory of Light and Matter
"Serious fun. What romantic comedy used to be in the time of Shakespeare. Not a breath of fresh air, but a gale."
--Martin Cruz Smith, author of Three Stations