Non-Fiction Books:

In Their Own Words

Letters from Norwegian Immigrants


Paperback / softback

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In Their Own Words
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Through translations of letters written to family and friends between 1870 and 1945, this book traces the stories of nine Norwegian immigrants. Farmer, fisherman, gold miner, politician, unmarried mother, housewife, businessman, railroad worker - their common bond was the experience of immigration and acculturation, but their individual experiences are manifested in a wide variety of forms. They came from vastly differing backgrounds in Norway to settle in the Midwest, on the West Coast, the East Coast and in Alaska, as well as Chicago and Brooklyn. The author has selected and translated letters rich in personal description and observation to present each writer's subjective view of historical events. Often focusing on the minutiae of daily life or the feelings of the individual immigrant, the letters are constructed from different voices, experiences, times, places, occupations, sexes and generations to form a complex and colourful mosaic of immigrant experience.
Release date NZ
January 1st, 1991
Edited by Solveig Zempel
Country of Publication
United States
University of Minnesota Press
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