Reading and Discussion “Where You Come From”: Book Talk with Saša Stanišić

“Where You Come From”: Book Talk with Saša Stanišić © Tin House / Katja Sämann

Tue, 12/07/2021

1:00 PM PST


Join Goethe Pop Up Seattle, Third Place Books, and Community Bookstore (Brooklyn) for the exclusive U.S. launch of Saša Stanišić’s Where You Come From (German: Herkunft), translated from the German by Damion Searls.

Saša Stanišić makes a virtual visit to Seattle for a conversation with Damion Searls and writer/translator Jennifer Croft in celebration of Where You Come From’s release on December 7.

This event will take place online at 1:00 pm PST. Please register to receive Zoom access info.
Book cover: Where You Come From © Tin House About the book:

Where You Come From
(publish date December 7, 2021)
By Saša Stanišić (trans. Damion Searls)

Winner of the German Book Prize. 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 revolutionary who has found his true home in language.” —The Rolling Stone

Tender, intelligent, and brilliant […] a stunning novel that asks what it really means to be from somewhere, anywhere.” —Kirkus, Starred Review

About the speakers:

Saša Stanišić © Katja Sämann 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.

Damion Searls © Paul Barbera

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 © Jennifer Croft


​​​​​​​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.

​​​​​​​This event is presented in partnership with Third Place Books and Community Bookstore (Brooklyn).

Get a copy of the book and join us at our February book club meeting! We will discuss Where You Come From on February 17 at 7pm PT. Find more info here.