Year of publication
Number of pages
Croatia (Novi Liber)
Czech Republic (Dauphin)
Italy (Forum Editrice)
Poland (Wydawnictwo Miedzymorze)
Sweden (Ramus Förlag)
English pdf, Italian pdf, German sample translation
immigrants, second generation, urban environment, stereotypes, identity, former Yugoslavia
Southern Scum, Go Home!
In Fužine, Ljubljana’s notorious suburb, apartments are small, families are big, and living standards are low. Sitting in front of one’s apartment building is the national sport of Fužine. Southern scum aren’t good with computers. No true southern family goes out to eat. Basketball courts in Fužine are empty, kids are getting high or playing video games. That’s Fužine. And here’s Marko, a seventeen-year-old, playing basketball and finding his path to adulthood. While we follow Marko’s struggles with his identity, his parents and local stereotypes, his bittersweet humour paints a picture of life in Fužine and its complex web of causes and effects.
The debut novel by Goran Vojnović, which catapulted him onto the Slovenian literary scene, uses vivid, witty language to weave an encyclopaedic tapestry of the urban environment and talk about the issue of immigrants from former Yugoslavia, spreading the responsibility for the situation among everybody and relating the clash of the majority culture with that of second-generation immigrants with a healthy dose of irony. Southern Scum, Go Home! has become one of the best selling Slovenian novels of the past few years and garnered its author a police report, as well as two of the main Slovenian awards for that year. It has been reprinted a number of times and translated into seven languages.
Kresnik Award for best novel of the year 2009
Prešeren Fund Award, Slovenia’s highest award for artistic achievement, 2009
With a single blow – a story about “southern scum”– [Vojnović] has swept away prejudice, impressed the critics and found readers even among those who had never read a novel before.
Southern Scum, Go Home! Is a wonderful collage of stories about life in the ghetto, about basketball, babes, fathers in undershirts, differences between Serbs from Bosnia and Serbs from Serbia, friendships between various nations of former Yugoslavia, and more: these stories contain more humour than anything else written on the topic in Slovenian.
This novel and its reception has finally brought us back into the global mainstream […]. Vojnović is our equivalent of Hanif Kureishi or Zadie Smith.
A promising, readable, fun and thoughtful debut that boldly cuts into the suffering social tissue of immigrants from former Yugoslavia.
The novel’s trump card is not its nevertheless very-well paced and cinematic story, but rather its truly discerning portrayal of Fužine and in its language. The latter is responsible for the veracity of Vojnović’s depiction of everyday life in Fužine, full of stories from deepest poverty, which break the reader’s heart but are written in such a way that they also elicit their laughter (through tears).