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.
“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