Saša Stanišić presents "Where You Come From," with Damion Searls & Jennifer Croft

December 7, 2021, 4:00 PM

Saša Stanišić and translator Damion Searls join us for the only US event in celebration of Stanišić's new novel Where You Come From, in conversation with Jennifer Croft. This virtual event is hosted by our friends at Third Place Books in Seattle, and will take place on Zoom. Register here.

Winner of the German Book Prize, Saša Stanišić’s inventive and surprising novel 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 Stanišić’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 Stanišić 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. His current novel Where You Come From (Tin House), won the German Book Prize. (Photo credit: Katja Sämann.)

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.

Jennifer Croft won the 2020 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing for her illustrated memoir Homesick and the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her translation from Polish of Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights.