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Marginalia: Kristopher Jansma


On this episode on Marginalia, I speak with Kristopher Jansma about his new novel, Why We Came to the City. The story focuses on five friends--an editor, an astronomer, a poet, an investment banker, and an artist--who have remained friends since their college graduation five years prior, and help each other navigate through life and dreams in New York City. When a seemingly innocuous lump below an eye turns into an delayed cancer diagnosis, the five must reexamine and redefine their hopes and dreams to accommodate tragedy and loss.

Credit Kristopher Jansma
Kris's 'shelfie' of books which served as inspiration while he wrote 'Why We Came to the City'

Before we begin… full disclosure: Kris and I are friends. We met when I was a bookseller after I read and became an advocate for his first book, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards. And although we’ve only seen each other a couple of times in person, I consider him a friend in that literary circle kind of way.

We scheduled an interview to take place with me in the KMUW studios and Kris at his home in Brooklyn. But because of a visit to the Philharmonic and an unexpected rainstorm, our plans changed a bit. Here's our conversation.


Why We Came to the City by KristopherJansma was published by Viking.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW - Wichita. Discover new episodes at kmuw.org or through iTunes.

Editor: LuAnne Stephens
Engineer: Jon Cyphers
Producer: Beth Golay