Monday, June 4, 2012

Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America

2012 Minnesota Book Award nominated author Eric Dregni will talk about the Scandinavian-American experience at Encore! Performing Arts Center on Saturday, June 9, at 1 p.m. Dregni is best known for his humorous take on being Scandinavian in Minnesota. He and his wife spent a year living in Norway, and the result was his 2008 book "In Cod We Trust." In "Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America" (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), Dregni examines the history of Scandinavian and Finnish immigration to the Unites States, especially to Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Politics, religion, work, recreation, food, lifestyles, and becoming American—the Scandinavian-American experience is examined with an illuminating and frequently humorous perspective. The hardscrabble life and prejudice faced by the early immigrants is an oft-forgotten chapter in Scandinavian-American history, which Dregni documents poignantly. But there is plenty of room in his account for anecdotes about church dinners, jello salads, hotdishes, and the fact that everyone in heaven speaks Norwegian. A reception following Dregni's presentation will be hosted by the Sons of Norway-Heimsyn Lodge. Refreshments (including lefse) are being donated by Takk for Maten. Bergquist Imports is also donating to the event, which is free and open to the public. For questions, call the library at 879-1531 or Encore! Performing Arts at 878-0071. Encore! is located on the Frontage Road at 2035 Hwy 33 South (exit north of the I-35 ramp). Eric Dregni's appearance is sponsored by the Cloquet Public Library in association with the Minnesota Book Awards, with a grant from The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.

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