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2023 Longlist

Where You Come From

Translated from the original German by Damion Searls
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Saša Stanišić’s Where You Come From is a novel about a village where only thirteen people remain, a country that no longer exists, a shattered family that is his own. Blending auto fiction, fable, and choose-your-own-adventure, Stanišić traces a family’s escape during the conflict in Yugoslavia, and the years that followed as they built a life in Germany. As he explores what it means to be European today, he examines how it feels to learn a new language, to find new friends and new jobs, and to build an identity between countries and cultures. Translated by Damion Searls, Where You Come From is about homelands, both remembered and imagined. A book that bends form and genre with wit, heart, and exceptional craftsmanship 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.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Saša
Stanišić

Saša Stanišić was born in Višegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1978, and moved to Germany when he was fourteen. He studied at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut in Leipzig. His first book How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone became an instant bestseller and was translated into more than 30 languages.

Stanišić has received numerous stipends and prizes: For the short stories in Trappers he was awarded the Rheingau Literature Prize and the Schubart Literature Prize. For Where You Come From he received the German Book Prize 2019, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.

Saša Stanišić was born in Višegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1978, and moved to Germany when he was fourteen. He studied at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut in Leipzig. His first book How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone became an instant bestseller and was translated into more than 30 languages.

Stanišić has received numerous stipends and prizes: For the short stories in Trappers he was awarded the Rheingau Literature Prize and the Schubart Literature Prize. For Where You Come From he received the German Book Prize 2019, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Damion
Searls

Damion Searls has translated more than fifty books of classic modern literature, most recently Thomas Mann’s New Selected Stories, Jon Fosse’s Septology, and Bambi. His own writing includes fiction, poetry, criticism, The Inkblots—a history of the Rorschach Test and biography of its creator, Hermann Rorschach—and The Philosophy of Translation, forthcoming.

Damion Searls has translated more than fifty books of classic modern literature, most recently Thomas Mann’s New Selected Stories, Jon Fosse’s Septology, and Bambi. His own writing includes fiction, poetry, criticism, The Inkblots—a history of the Rorschach Test and biography of its creator, Hermann Rorschach—and The Philosophy of Translation, forthcoming.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Saša Stanišić and his mixed family (Serbian and Bosnian) flee from Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and end up in Heidelberg, Germany, where they struggle to integrate, to a large extent because of the low paying jobs available to immigrants. Saša Stanišić tells his personal story in a touching, exciting and stylistic outstanding narrative Style. The novel was successful adapted for the Theater and won the German Book Prize in 2019.

– Stadtbücherei Heidelberg, Germany

Third novel from internationally acclaimed and bestselling Bosnian-German author Saša Stanišic. The story follows a young refugee and his family who fled to Germany from Yugoslavia in the 1990s. A heartwarming and moving reflection on the process reshaping ones identity between countries, cultures and languages.

Stadtbibliothek Bremen

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
04/11/2021
Country
Germany
Original Language
German
Publisher
Jonathan Cape
Translator
Damion Searls
Translation
Translated from the original German by Damion Searls

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