Author finds Vikings legacy in today's America

J.T. Morand

Dregni_Vikings coverBeing born with Norwegian, Swedish and Danish blood pumping through his veins and living in Minnesota wasn’t enough for author Eric Dregni to convey the Scandinavian experience in America to readers.

So, after having penned In Cod We Trust, a book about living in Norway for a year, Dregni, an assistant professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn., set out on a journey through the Midwest, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Washington state—areas with large Scandinavian-American populations — to delve deeper into his heritage and that of all Scandinavian-Americans. Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America (University of Minnesota Press) chronicles his adventure and what he found, which is much more interesting than just lefse and lutefisk.

Q. What inspired you to do Vikings in the Attic?

A. After my wife and I lived in Norway and the Scandinavians spoke about their “colony in the Midwest” (we would be the colonists), I became curious about what actual effect they had and how much of that remains. My dad’s side of the family is all Scandinavian, but many of the darker stories weren’t passed down through the generations. I wanted to find out how the dreams of these stoic skiers, our ancestors, affected us now.

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