The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards

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Penguin Publishing Group, 2014 - Fiction - 254 pages
10 Reviews
These stories are all true, but only somewhere else. As early as he can remember, the narrator of this remarkable novel has wanted to become a writer. From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma's hopelessly unreliable - yet hopelessly earnest - narrator will be haunted by the success of his greatest friend and literary rival, the brilliant Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling-out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing, Jansma's narrator find himself caught in an immense web of lies. As much a warm and witty story about a young man trying to find out who he is as it is a profound exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling, The Unchangeable Spotsof Leopards heralds Jansma as a bold, new American voice. 'With wry humor and a steady hand . . . the narrator's games never fail to enterain, even if he is constantly changing the rules.' The New Yorker'F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson . . . Jansma reminds us that life is often out of our control, even if we're writing it down.' Village Voice'Playfully weird . . . I'd call this book 'postmodern,' but that makes it sound like it's not as pleasurable to read as it is.' Meg Wolitzer, author fo The Interestings, on 'A breathless work that celebrates literary tradition, while making a strong case that its author belongs on the shelf beside his forebears.' Time Out NYPenguin readers guide available online at

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User Review  - sleahey - LibraryThing

The series of vignettes raises many questions while grappling with different versions of the truth and relationships among the three main characters. With unreliable narration moving forward in time ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lisapeet - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this, though it was really all over the place. And there's the issue, when a young author is writing as a young author, of wondering how much of the style is the "author's" and how much is ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Kristopher Jansmais the author of Why We Came to the City andThe 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 theNew York Times, Salon, The Believer, The Millions, Slice, BOMB, andElectric Literature. He lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn, New York.

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