Swedish Roots in oregon

An Immigration Research Project


About Ten New Lives

Lars Nordström’s book is based on his interviews with ten Swedes—five men and five women—living in the Northwest for at least ten years. While much has been written about the great Swedish migration to America be­tween 1845 and 1930, little attention has ever been given the smaller num­bers that have arrived in recent decades. These oral histories from around the year 2000 give a fascinating, balanced group portrait of representative recent Swedish immigrants in a particular region, describing their backgrounds, way of life, and attitudes toward both the old and new countries. The picture he gives rings true of others like them in other parts of the United States. It thus provides a valuable “macrocosm in microcosm.”

— H. Arnold Barton, Professor Emeritus of History Southern Illinois University Carbondale

As in his prize-winning memoir Making It Home, Lars Nordström’s TEN NEW LIVES invites readers to engage questions about American culture: What does it mean to be an immigrant? How do outsiders negotiate the binational bicul­tural bilingual divide? What does it mean to be a resident alien? Since 1776, immigrant autobiography has been rich with storied answers. These Swedish immigrants enrich that tradition. Their stories create an illuminating bridge between Sweden and the Pacific Northwest.

—George Venn, General Editor, THE OREGON LITERATURE SERIES

Particularly interesting is how the five men and five women in this sample group demonstrate the ways in which the complexities of causation, experienc­es in the United States, and identity preservation remain constants as central themes of emigration history.

—Byron J. Nordstrom, Editor of the Swedish-American Historical Quarterly