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Shards (Grove Press)
Debut novelist Ismet Prcic will read and sign Shards, based on his experiences leaving war-torn Bosnia.
"Ismet Prcic has taken apart the complexities of war, love, family and home and scattered them across a novel that is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful. Shards is an original work of art, brutal and honest, and absolutely unforgettable." --Dinaw Mengestu, author of How to Read the Air
"Ismet Prcic's prose is a gleaming pinball kept in inexhaustible play, kinetically suspended in time and space, endlessly flung away from its inevitable ending, colliding with memory and invention. This is writing fed by skill, inertia, horror, and sorrow, a survivor's story of triumph and guilt. Yet Prcic's sensibility is at once brutally and tenderly comic. Humanity seems to run deepest among those who have survived its near-absence in the world." --Brad Watson, author of The Heaven of Mercury and Aliens in the Prime of their Lives
Ismet Prcic's brilliant, provocative, and propulsory energetic debut is
about a young Bosnian, also named Ismet Prcic, who has fled his war-torn
homeland and is now struggling to reconcile his past with his present
life in California. He is advised that in order to make peace with
the corrosive guilt he harbors over leaving behind his family behind, he
must "write everything." The result is a great rattlebag of memories,
confessions, and fictions: sweetly humorous recollections of Ismet's
childhood in Tuzla appear alongside anguished letters to his mother
about the challenges of life in this new world. As Ismet's foothold in
the present falls away, his writings are further complicated by stories
from the point of view of another young man--real or imagined--named
Mustafa, who joined a troop of elite soldiers and stayed in Bosnia to
fight. When Mustafa's story begins to overshadow Ismet's new-world
identity, the reader is charged with piecing together the fragments of a
life that has become eerily unrecognizable, even to the one living it. Shards
is a thrilling read--a harrowing war story, a stunningly inventive
coming of age, and a heartbreaking saga of a splintered family.