Body Kintsugi

by Senka Marić


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Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with liquid gold, to highlight and celebrate an object’s past. In this powerful and personal novella, Senka Marić uses the concept of kintsugi to interrogate ideas of illness, survival and recovery.

Two months after her husband packs his bags and leaves the family home, the narrator finds a lump in her armpit. It’s a discovery she’s been dreading ever since her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis sixteen years earlier, and one that will change her body forever. Through diagnosis, chemotherapy, and surgery, the narrator returns to those moments of her girlhood when she learnt to be ashamed of her sexuality and estranged from her body – the same body that now threatens to fall apart during her illness. Laced with a drive for life, sensuality and pleasure, Body Kintsugi is an intimate and optimistic book about a woman’s relationship with her body as it breaks and is put back together.

168pp, paperback with flaps, £12.99
ISBN 978-1-908670-73-1
Publication date: 4 October 2022

Press & Reviews

‘A raw and moving book, written in exquisite, taut prose, which explores illness and healing through an inventive, kaleidoscopic narrative.’- Sam Mills, author of Chauvo-Feminism and The Fragments of My Father

‘As a revelatory account of illness, the novel stands alongside Anne Boyer and Audre Lorde, while the sensuous intelligence of the prose, in Celia Hawkesworth’s astonishing translation, reminded me of Virginia Woolf. It’s a wonderful book.’-Caleb Klaces, author of Fatherhood

‘A brave book written from personal experience that offers us much-needed hope in the victory of life over death.’ - Faruk Šehić, author of Under Pressure and Quiet Flows the Una

‘The writing is intimate — patient, sensory, murky — a portrait of consciousness under duress.’ - Stacy Mattingly, Literary Hub

‘Nobody has written about the female body in our language like Senka Marić.’ - Saša Dragojlo, Noizz

‘Gentle and combative, sad but not at all pathetic, it is an unusually strong narrative about weakness.’ - Vladislava Gordić Petković, Bosnian scholar

About The Book


Senka Marić was born in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1972. She is a writer, poet and editor and is the author of three poetry collections and two novels: Body Kintsugi (2018), and Gravities (2021). She is also the editor of the online literary magazine Strane. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Zija Dizdarević Short Story Prize in 2000 and the European Knight of Poetry Prize in 2013. Body Kintsugi was awarded the prestigious Meša Selimović Prize for the best novel published in 2018 in the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. It is her first book to be translated into English.


Celia Hawkesworth taught at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL, from 1971 to 2002. She began translating fiction in the 1960s and to date has published some 40 titles. Recently she has been translating works by Daša Drndić: Belladonna was shortlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize 2018 and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2018, and won the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation 2018. EEG won the Best Translated Book Award in 2020 and the AATSEEL Best Literary Translation Prize in 2021. Her translation of Ivo Andrić’s Omer Pasha Latas won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation prize in 2019.