The Portland author Ismet Prcic named the main character in his debut novel Shards, Ismet Prcic. Shards is not a memoir, though — it’s fiction and it was not meant to be an easy read. Prcic, the author, explained to Think Out Loud Host David Miller, “I think the fun part [of the novel] is actually trying to figure out what is true and what is not, and coming to a conclusion that we don’t even know that in our own lives, especially after somebody suffers through a prolonged trauma of surviving the war. You’re shattered; the way you think about the world is shattered. You live in your memories and you live in reality, and those things kind of mix together.”
Prcic is referring to the Balkan Wars, which both he and the main character lived through and eventually fled. The two Prcics ended up in California, where the novel begins its dizzying exploration through a surreal world of fact and fiction, memory and reality.
After his appearance on Think Out Loud, Prcic spent a little time with Arts & Life. He talked about the surprising anxiety he felt before reading excerpts of Shards at Portland’s book and literary festival, Wordstock, and shared a passage from his novel.