Cover image for the novel Bruise by Adrian Markle. The background is a textured white and there is an indented crack in the middle of the page, the size of a fist. At the top of the page it reads, “Bruise is light on its feet, compelling and driven.” Wyl Menmuir, Book-longlisted author of The Draw of the Sea in a small, thin, black serif font. The title, “Bruise” is written in black, bold, all-caps, sans serif and is embedded into the cracks, the author’s name “Adrian Markle” is below in a smaller, red, sans serif font, and below that it reads, “A Novel” in smaller, thinner, black, sans serif font. Book cover is by David Drummond of Salamander Hill Design.


A Novel

By (author): Adrian Markle
ISBN 9781990071072
Softcover | Publication Date: May 7, 2024
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
224 Pages

About the Book

An understated but fierce novel of family, sport and growing up, Adrian Markle’s debut tells the story of an injured MMA fighter who returns to his coastal hometown.

Arriving on the Greyhound, six months late for his father’s funeral, Jamie Stuart is injured but unwilling to declare himself retired from the MMA fighting career that has kept him away from his coastal hometown since he was a teenager. His attempts to reconnect with his now-alcoholic older brother, Sid, are thwarted both by Sid’s mysterious disappearances from the house and his unwillingness to discuss the death of their younger brother fifteen years earlier.

In the absence of the training schedule that has governed his adult life so far, Jamie sinks into a routine of drinking with Sid and arguing with the regulars at the bar owned by his high-school crush. Then, when he’s at his lowest, he is handed an opportunity that offers the money and security he needs. But with it comes the risk of Jamie never finding his way back out.

Set on quiet streets and beaches choked with childhood memories, haunted by the highs of an international athletic career cut short, Bruise is an understated but fierce novel of family, sport, homecomings, and growing up.

About the Author(s)

Originally from British Columbia, Adrian Markle teaches creative writing at Falmouth University in Cornwall, UK, where he lives with his partner, the writer Eleanor Walsh. Adrian has published numerous short stories and has recently returned to practicing martial arts. Bruise is his first novel.


“In a novel of contrasting savagery and tenderness, Adrian Markle’s debut novel is light on its feet, compelling and driven. Markle’s lean prose is perfectly matched to his exploration of the possibilities of coming back home.” Wyl Menmuir, Booker-longlisted author of The Draw of the Sea

“Intense and poetic and full of heart, Adrian Markle’s debut novel announces a fierce new talent on the Canadian literary stage . . . A triumph of a novel.” Angie Abdou, author of This One Wild Life