Synopses & Reviews
From the internationally acclaimed author of Before the Feast and How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone comes a prize-winning novel that asks: what makes us who we are?
In August, 1992, a boy and his mother flee the war in Yugoslavia and arrive in Germany. Six months later, the boy’s father joins them, bringing a brown suitcase, insomnia, and a scar on his thigh. Saša Stanišic’s Where You Come From is a novel about this family, whose world is uprooted and remade by war: their history, their life before the conflict, and the years that followed their escape as they created a new life in a new country.
Blending autofiction, fable, and choose-your-own-adventure, Where You Come From is set in a village where only thirteen people remain, in lost and made-up memories, in coincidences, in choices, and in a dragons’ den. Translated by Damion Searls, it’s a novel about homelands, both remembered and imagined, lost and found. A book that playfully twists form and genre with wit and heart to explore questions that lie inside all of us: about language and shame, about arrival and making it just in time, about luck and death, about what role our origins and memories play in our lives.
"[Saša Stanišic is] a Bosnian-German wunderkind whose gripping tale about a refugee family marries formal experimentation and deadpan humor amid the suffocating smoke of survivors’ guilt." Oprah Daily
"Vast and multifaceted... a timely antidote to poisonous political blame-games and sneering statements about the plight of refugees." Necessary Fiction
"Where You Come From is a triumph, funny and touching and subtly profound. As it ranges from chronicle to prose poem to folk tale, it builds a momentum that dazzles throughout. An exhilarating and powerful read." Jennifer Croft, author of Homesick
"Saša Stanišic is a revolutionary who has found his true home in language." The Rolling Stone
About the Author
Saša Stanišic was born in Višegrad (Yugoslavia) in 1978 and has lived in Germany since 1992. His debut novel, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone, was translated into thirty-one languages; Before the Feast was a bestseller and won the renowned Leipzig Book Fair Prize.
Damion Searls is an award-winning translator from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch,and the author of The Inkblots, a history of the Rorschach test and biography of its creator.