Minnesota author Peter Geye on his new book 'The Ski Jumpers'

A Minnesota Now special edition of Big Books and Bold Ideas

A book cover and a picture of the author.
Minnesota author Peter Geye’s new novel, “The Ski Jumpers,” is his most personal to date. Geye lives in Minneapolis with his family.
Author photo by Lucas Botz, book cover courtesy of publisher

John Bargaard — the central character of Peter Geye’s new novel — possesses powerful muscle memory from his days as a ski jumper. He remembers the intensity of focus, the feeling of flying through the air, the shattered glass moment of landing.

But he’s just been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and he faces the real prospect that his memories — and the secrets he harbors — will dim with his future.

That’s the launching point of “The Ski Jumpers,” Geye’s latest book. Like many of his earlier works, this one is set in Minnesota, with winter as a backdrop to many pivotal scenes. But unlike books like “Wintering” and “Northernmost,” this one is personal.

MPR News host Kerri Miller talks with Geye about what makes “The Ski Jumpers” so intimate to him on a special Big Books and Bold Ideas. Hear why this book took decades for Geye to write, how his own history of ski jumping inspired him and why the central questions of this book are the gateway to Geye’s truest religion.


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