Where You Come From

Where You Come From

Winner of the German Book Prize


A powerful exploration of identity and belonging, Where You Come From is the major new novel from internationally acclaimed and bestselling author Saša Stanišic

Saša Stanišic'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 autofiction, fable, and choose-your-own-adventure, Stanišic 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.

'Wonderfully inventive and impressive.' - Guardian


  • A triumph, funny and touching and subtly profound... it builds a momentum that dazzles throughout. An exhilarating and powerful read.
    Jennifer Croft

About the author

Sasa Stanisic

Saša Stanišic 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. Stanišic 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. He was awarded the Nelly Sachs Prize 2023. Saša Stanišic lives and works in Hamburg.
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