top of page

Tue, Jan 31


Virtual event

From the National Nordic Museum: Meet the Author

Registration is closed
See other events

Time & Location

Jan 31, 2023, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Virtual event

About the Event

Join Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma (DeNoma Literary Services) in virtual conversation with Ann-Helen Laestadius, author of the spellbinding Swedish novel Stolen

Non-Members of the Nordic Museum: $5.00       Members: Free


About the Book:    

Louise Erdrich meets Jo Nesbø in this spellbinding Swedish novel that  follows a young indigenous woman as she struggles to defend her  family’s reindeer herd and culture amidst xenophobia, climate change,  and a devious hunter whose targeted kills are considered mere theft in  the eyes of the law.

It is winter, north of the Arctic Circle. A few hours of pale light  are all the sun has to offer before the landscape is once more wrapped  in darkness. This the land of the Sámi, Scandinavia’s indigenous people.  One day when she goes skiing along, nine-year-old Elsa—daughter of  reindeer herders—witnesses a man brutally killing her reindeer calf,  Nástegallu.

Elsa is threatened into silence and refuses to tell anyone about what  she saw, but she carries her secret as a dark weight on her heart. Not  only are the reindeer the Sámi’s livelihood, but the animals also serve  an important spiritual role; attacking a reindeer is an attack on the  culture itself. Even though she’s just a child, Elsa sees how persistent  violence among neighbors and indifference from authorities cause those  close to her to lose hope, and even their will to live.

Ten years later, Elsa tries to find her way in her community, where  male elders expect young women to know their place. Meanwhile, the  hatred and threats against the Sámi keep escalating. When Elsa finds  herself the target of the man who killed her reindeer calf all those  years ago, something inside of her finally breaks, leading her to a  final catastrophic confrontation.

Stolen portrays a young woman’s struggle to defend her  heritage in a world where xenophobia is on the rise, climate change  looms, and young people choose suicide in the face of collective  desperation. The novel also portrays the tensions that arise when modern  ideas come up against a traditional culture.

In Elsa, award-winning writer Ann-Helén Laestadius has created an  unforgettable young heroine, fighting for honor, acceptance, and  defending her way of life in a community under attack. Part  coming-of-age story, part love song to a disappearing natural world, and  part electrifying countdown to a dramatic resolution, Stolen is  sweeping storytelling at its best.

 About the Author: 

Ann-Helén Laestadius is an author and journalist from Kiruna, Sweden.  She is Sámi and of Tornedalian descent, two of Sweden’s national  minorities. In 2016, Laestadius was awarded the prestigious August Prize  for Best Young Adult and Children’s Novel for Ten Past One, for which  she was also awarded Norrland’s Literature Prize. Stolen is her first  adult novel and was named Sweden’s Book of the Year.

Share This Event

bottom of page