Linnea Axelsson: Aednan

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm


Join us as we welcome award winning Swedish author Linnea Axelsson to speak to us about her new book Ædnan (on sale January 9th) on Wednesday January 31st at 6:30pm at Titcomb's Bookshop. 

This is a free event, but registration is required and space is limited. Registration can be completed HERE or by calling the store at 508-888-2331.

Books will be for sale at the event, and Axelsson will sign them after her presentation. Those who are unable to attend the event may order signed copies below by writing "signed copy" in the order comments, or by calling 508-888-2331.


"Crystalline prose that reads like poetry and myth at once. There are intricate layers of beauty and meaning here in sparse clusters across a vast new landscape as I've never read before. The music of this book is old, and it is new, and it is old."-- Tommy Orange, author of Wandering Stars

" Aednan is a soul-gripping and enthralling journey into what it feels like to be othered in your own land. Through powerful poetic prose, Axelsson offers us a profound invitation into understanding what it means to be deeply intertwined with nature. It takes raw talent to build deeply fleshed out worlds and deep characters with sparse poetry. Reading Aednan was an immerse privilege, one I indulged in with utmost reverence." --Lola Akinmade Åkerström, international bestselling author of In Every Mirror She's Black

"An epic poem, much honored in Sweden since its publication in 2018, that charts the fortunes of a Sámi community against opposing nationalisms... A sharp-edged tale in verse of colonial suppression, resistance, and survival." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The winner of Sweden’s most prestigious literary award makes her American debut with an epic, multigenerational novel-in-verse about two Sámi families and their quest to stay together across a century of migration, violence, and colonial trauma.

In Northern Sámi, the word Ædnan means the land, the earth, and my mother. These are all crucial forces within the lives of the Indigenous families that animate this groundbreaking book: an astonishing verse novel that chronicles a hundred years of change: a book that will one day stand alongside Halldór Laxness’s Independent People and Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter as an essential Scandinavian epic.

The tale begins in the 1910s, as Ristin and her family migrate their herd of reindeer to summer grounds. Along the way, forced to separate due to the newly formed border between Sweden and Norway, Ristin loses one of her sons in the aftermath of an accident, a grief that will ripple across the rest of the book. In the wake of this tragedy, Ristin struggles to manage what’s left of her family and her community.

In the 1970s, Lise, as part of a new generation of Sámi grappling with questions of identity and inheritance, reflects on her traumatic childhood, when she was forced to leave her parents and was placed in a Nomad School to be stripped of the language of her ancestors. Finally, in the 2010s we meet Lise’s daughter, Sandra, an embodiment of Indigenous resilience, an activist fighting for reparations in a highly publicized land rights trial, in a time when the Sámi language is all but lost.

Weaving together the voices of half a dozen characters, from elders to young people unsure of their heritage, Axelsson has created a moving family saga around the consequences of colonial settlement. Ædnan is a powerful reminder of how durable language can be, even when it is borrowed, especially when it has to hold what no longer remains. “I was the weight / in the stone you brought / back from the coast // to place on / my grave,” one character says to another from beyond the grave. “And I flew above / the boat calling / to you all: // There will be rain / there will be rain.”



LINNEA AXELSSON is a Sámi-Swedish writer, born in the province of North Bothnia in Sweden. In 2018, she was awarded the August Prize for this book. She lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Linnea’s US tour is being implemented with the assistance of a grant from the Swedish Arts Council.

Event address: 
Titcomb's Bookshop
432 Route 6A
East Sandwich, MA 02537
Pre-Order Now Badge
Aednan: An Epic By Linnea Axelsson, Saskia Vogel (Translated by) Cover Image
By Linnea Axelsson, Saskia Vogel (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593535455
Availability: Pre-order now. Click "DETAILS" below for publication date.
Published: Knopf - January 9th, 2024