Body Kintsugi

by Senka Marić


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Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with liquid gold, thereby highlighting and celebrating the object’s past. In this powerful and personal novel, Senka Marić uses kintsugi as a lens through which to interrogate ideas of illness and recovery.

Body Kintsugi opens as our protagonist’s husband is leaving the family home. Lying awake in her bed, amidst the wreckage left by his departure, she finds a lump in her armpit. This discovery leads to a cancer diagnosis and the invasive, life-altering treatments that follow. Written in raw and immediate prose, the narrative moves easily between the present tense and scattered memories of her girlhood. The result is an intimate, insightful account of the difficulties of adolescence, ongoing patriarchal attitudes in Bosnian society, motherhood, illness and the relationship of a woman to her body, as it changes into something new – and yet, is still hers.

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

Press & Reviews

‘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.