Photo by Roy Gumpel. Photo by Roy Gumpel.

It’s an exciting time to be Kristopher Jansma. The up-and-coming author, whose second novel “Why We Came to the City” was just released, will read from and sign copies of the brand new book on Monday, Feb. 22 at Ivy Hall at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Viking Books.
Viking Books.

Jansma’s website describes “Why We Came to the City” as a sweeping, funny and poignant novel about a tight-knit group of twentysomethings in New York City whose lives are forever altered by an unexpected tragedy. Early reviews for the novel are overwhelmingly positive: NPR’s Michael Schaub calls it a “beautiful, sprawling and generous book,” praising Jansma as “a brilliantly talented writer,” while Publishers Weekly deems the novel “a tightly-written, smartly conceived story that puts an insightful spin on life in the Big Apple.”

Jansma is as admired by his peers as he is by critics — “Station Eleven” author Emily St. John Mandel hails “Why We Came to the City” as “a tremendous accomplishment: an elegant and deeply moving meditation on friendship and mortality, both fearless and finely wrought.”

Jansma’s debut novel, “The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards,” was published in 2013 and met with similar levels of critical acclaim. The book, which NPR’s Heller McAlpin called “a wildly recursive fun house of a novel,” won the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award, with The Village Voice’s Emily Gogolak likening it to “F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson.” Jansma’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Columbia Magazine, The Believer, Slice Magazine, the Blue Mesa Review and The Millions.

“We came to the city because we wished to live haphazardly,” Jansma writes in his new novel’s opening lines, “to reach for only the least realistic of our desires.” These beautiful words (and many others) are your call to come out and experience “Why We Came to the City.”

Find about more about Jansma’s reading on the Facebook event page here. If you are unable to make it but would like to order a signed copy of “Why We Came to the City,” click here.