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By Jim Bartley

“Makarska is a raw, unflinching exploration of the wars we fight both internally and externally. Mirza and his family’s search for identity – cultural, sexual, and personal – in the wake of terrible loss and violence, is captivating. All delivered in Jim Bartley’s effortless prose, this tough, taut book blends rich detail with a sharp-eyed examination of the legacy of violence.”
– Grace O’Connell, author of Magnified World

Makarska CoverMirza has masqueraded as “Mickey” throughout his time in Canada but his own identity awaits him when he returns to spend a summer in Sarajevo with his father. His grandfather bears the physical scars of the violence. His mother’s psychological wounds are hidden, but reopen when Mirza uses the war as inspiration for a new art installation.Through the eyes of three generations, Jim Bartley’s much anticipated second novel tells a tale at once sweeping and intimate, an unflinching story of war, escape, heartrending loss, budding love, and the hard-won understanding that true escape is an elusive and lifelong project.

“Harrowed, the survivors of war and genocide in Bosnia relive their anguished past through art, memoir and memory in this stunning novel about traumas that are never past.”
– Edmund White, author of A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony

“With depth and precision, Jim Bartley revisits the Bosnian War through the stories of three generations of a mixed Serbian-Muslim family living in Toronto and Sarajevo. He tackles old traumas with complexity and compassion, nudging his characters toward a faint yet persistent hope for healing. Makarska grabbed my heart, and held tight.”
– Farzana Doctor, Lambda Prize winning author of Six Meters of Pavement

“In Makarska, Jim Bartley takes on the most difficult challenge for a writer: to demonstrate that there is no such thing as Other, that the age old truths are true for all of us. We all feel fear; we all need love; we all want peace and shelter and plenty—regardless of what political or religious or ethnic divide has fallen between us. In this remarkable work, Bartley persuades us that we are all brutalized by war—victor and victim alike—and that the only antidotes are understanding and love. Makarska is an important and beautiful book.”
– Joseph Kertes, author of Gratitude and The Afterlife of Stars

“Bartley spins a damn good yarn—his storytelling takes us across continents with the greatest of ease. Makarska is particularly incisive on the difficulty of national belonging, on the trials and pleasures of masculinity, and on the making of an artist. Realpolitik-savvy, yet with a big hopeful heart.”
– Lydia Perovic, author of Incidental Music

“War can kill those who believe they survived it. With his harrowing novel “Drina Bridge”, and now in the beautifully written “Makarska”, Jim Bartley charts his journey through the fates and minds of characters bearing invisible scars of the Yugoslav wars –people you might pass on the streets of Toronto or almost any city. Bartley carries his burden of understanding with compassion and finally with hope.”
– Goran Simic, author of Yesterday’s People and Immigrant Blues

“With a deft hand, Jim Bartley parses the struggle of three generations of Bosnians dealing with horror and loss. Neither sensational nor maudlin, this moving and intelligent novel is both an important document about the impact of atrocity and a work of art to be admired for its achievement.”
– Antanas Sileika, author of Underground and Woman in Bronze

“Our identity is mostly made of silences. In this unflinching book Jim Bartley masterfully explores the process of putting the words back into our lives and the pain it entails. Makarska is a place of childhood, of warm memories, but it is up for sale. Can we hold onto it?”
– Dragan Todorovic, author  of Diary of Interrupted Days and The Book of Revenge

“Bartley does a good job setting up and then weaving together these various threads … In a book about conflict and genocide … one woman’s story snaps so much of the rest of the novel into focus. We learn, through her, what the true horror of war can do to a person. It is the moment where this engaging novel truly shines.”
– Quill & Quire


Insomniac Press (May 15, 2015)

Other Books by Jim Bartley
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