Celebrate the publication of Vermont author Nathaniel Ian Miller's The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven, a Northshire Staff Pick, in this virtual event with Christina Baker Kline, author of the Northshire Staff Pick The Exiles. The “captivating’’ and “powerful’’ story (Publishers Weekly, starred review) of one man who banishes himself to a solitary life in the Arctic Circle, and is saved by good friends, a loyal dog, and a surprise visit that changes everything, in a novel that is both “ceaselessly brilliant’’ (Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Orphan Master’s Son) and “pure delight’’ (Christina Baker Kline, #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train)
"A curmudgeonly misfit from Stockholm, well-read and nagged by romantic notions of polar exploration, finds his way to a harsh outpost north of the Arctic circle. After he is maimed in a mining accident, he retreats farther north to a fjord where he subsists in a barren and beautiful landscape. Debut author Miller then takes this sad, broken character living in desperate isolation and creates a stunning meditation on friendship, compassion and familial love. I fell deeply in love with this beautiful, heart-swelling novel." -- Northshire Staff Review by Stan Hynds
#1 INDIE NEXT PICK
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
In 1916, Sven Ormson leaves a restless life in Stockholm to seek adventure in Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago where darkness reigns four months of the year and he might witness the splendor of the Northern Lights one night and be attacked by a polar bear the next. But his time as a miner ends when an avalanche nearly kills him, leaving him disfigured, and Sven flees even further, to an uninhabited fjord. There, with the company of a loyal dog, he builds a hut and lives alone, testing himself against the elements.
The teachings of a Finnish fur trapper, along with encouraging letters from his family and a Scottish geologist who befriended him in the mining camp, get him through his first winter. Years into his routine isolation, the arrival of an unlikely visitor salves his loneliness, sparking a chain of surprising events that will bring Sven into a family of fellow castoffs and determine the course of the rest of his life.
Written with wry humor and in prose as breathtaking as the stark landscape it evokes, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven is a testament to the strength of our human bonds, reminding us that even in the most inhospitable conditions on the planet, we are not beyond the reach of love.
Nathaniel Ian Miller, who holds an MFA in Creative Writing and MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, is a former resident in the Arctic Circle Expeditionary Program. He has written for Virginia Quarterly Review, and for newspapers in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Montana, and Colorado, for which he received multiple Associated Press Awards. He lives with his family on a farm in central Vermont.
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