Each day leading up to the April 14 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2012 General Nonfiction Finalist:
Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America
Category Sponsor: Minnesota AFL-CIO
Eric Dregni explores the significant—and quite often bizarre—historic sites, tales, and traditions of Scandinavia’s peculiar colony in the Midwest. The author reveals the little-known tales that lie beneath the surface of Nordic America and proves by example why generations of Scandinavian-Americans have come to love and cherish these tales and traditions so dearly.
An excerpt from Vikings in the Attic:
Where are all the Scandinavian restaurants in the Midwest? If combined, the offspring of these Nordic settlers make up the largest ethnic group in the area; why isn’t shrimp smorbrod standard fair at Perkins? Only at church basement potlucks, Christmas hooplas, and ethnic lodge meetings does the real Scandinavian inventiveness show its Jello-O laden face.
Eric Dregni is assistant professor of English at Concordia University in Saint Paul and the author of several previous works on Nordic and Italian heritage.
“Startling and funny… This is a hugely enjoyable book that has plenty of history decked out in entertaining fashion. And you know what? I don’t think you have to have Scandinavian heritage to appreciate it.
“A worthy follow-up to Dregni’s In Cod We Trust, this page-turner will give Scandinavian Midwesterners a new appreciation for their unique heritage.”
– Minnesota Book Awards judge
In this book trailer for Viking in the Attic, author Eric Dregni demonstrates how Swedish egg coffee – which includes the eggshell! – is made.
Award winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. New this year: a post-awards “Epilogue Celebration.” Tickets are available online or by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information.
Have you read Viking in the Attic? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!