"I am not Stiller," explains the man arrested upon entering Switzerland. The border guards see in him the long-lost sculptor Anatol Ludwig Stiller. But the stranger calls himself James Larkin White. This is stated in his US passport. Questioning the officers and the photos in the photo albums cannot clarify his identity. So the unknown man comes into custody on suspicion of espionage, he is asked to write his life story in a diary. Meanwhile, Stiller's wife arrives from Paris. She is a stranger to Stiller and he keeps claiming that he is not Stiller. And then he falls in love with the woman who was once Stiller's wife.
So who is this man? Why does he so vehemently deny his former self? In Max Frisch's famous novel a wanted person goes in search of himself without finding himself.