Free

Swede Hollow: Book Talk with Ola Larsmo

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Scandinavia House

58 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10016

View Map

Event description

Description

Swedish author Ola Larsmo joins us to discuss his latest book Swede Hollow, a riveting family saga immersed in the gritty, dark side of Swedish immigrant life in America in the early 20th century. When Gustaf and Anna Klar and their three children leave Sweden for New York in 1897, they take with them a terrible secret and a longing for a new life. But their dream of starting over is nearly crushed at the outset: a fire devastates Ellis Island just as they arrive, and the relentlessly harsh conditions and lack of work in the city make it impossible for Gustaf to support his family.

But an unexpected gift allows the Klars to make one more desperate move, this time to the Midwest and a place called Swede Hollow: a cluster of shacks in a deep, wooded ravine on the edge of St. Paul, Minnesota, populated by a hardscrabble lot of Irish, Italian, and Swedish immigrants. While the men labor at low-paid jobs on the Great Northern or Northern Pacific railroads or work at the nearby brewery, the women clean houses, work at laundries, or sew clothing in stifling factories.

Though outsiders malign Swede Hollow as unsanitary and rife with disease, the Klar family and their neighbors persevere in this neglected corner of the city—and consider it home.

Extensively researched and beautifully written, Ola Larsmo’s award-winning novel vividly portrays a family and a community determined to survive, as hardships, indignities, and harrowing encounters are accompanied by acts of loyalty and kindness, and moments of joy. This haunting story of characters often absent from the familiar stories of Swedish American history echoes the larger challenges of immigration in the 20th century on to today.

This event has been made possible in part through the generous support of the Consulate General of Sweden.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ola Larsmo is a critic and columnist for Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, and the author of nine novels and several collections of short stories and essays. He received the Bjørnson Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression and, after the publication of Swede Hollow, two prestigious Swedish awards: the Lagercrantz Critics’ Prize from Dagens Nyheter and Natur & Kultur’s cultural prize. Larsmo was president of PEN Sweden from 2009 to 2017 and editor of Bonniers Literary Magazine from 1984 to 1990.



TICKET INFORMATION

All sales are final. Tickets are non-refundable.

Once you purchase your ticket(s), you will receive an order confirmation email from Eventbrite on behalf of Scandinavia House. Your e-tickets will be attached to your order confirmation email. Make sure to print them out and bring them to the event. Or go green and download the Eventbrite app on your smart phone!

IMPORTANT: If you do not see your confirmation in your inbox, make sure to check your junk/spam folder. If you still do not see your order confirmation, click here to access the Eventbrite help center. If you are having any other ticketing-related issues with your order, click here to contact Eventbrite.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Scandinavia House

58 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10016

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved