Publication Date: 02/02/2023 ISBN: 9781526659989 Category:


Ann-Helen Laestadius

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 02/02/2023 ISBN: 9781526659989 Category:





‘Written with heart and great appeal’ FINANCIAL TIMES
‘A coming-of-age-story to be loved everywhere in the world’ FREDRIK BACKMAN, author of A MAN CALLED OVE
‘Has struck a chord worldwide’ NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The international sensation: the story of a young Sami girl’s coming-of-age, and a powerful fable about family, identity and justice

Nine-year-old Elsa lives just north of the Arctic Circle. She and her family are Sami – Scandinavia’s indigenous people – and make their living herding reindeer.

One morning when Elsa goes skiing alone, she witnesses a man brutally killing her reindeer calf, Nastegallu. Elsa recognises the man but refuses to tell anyone – least of all the Swedish police force – about what she saw. Instead, she carries her secret as a dark weight on her heart.

Elsa comes of age fighting two wars: one within her community, where male elders expect young women to know their place; and against the ever-escalating wave of prejudice and violence against the Sami.

When Elsa finds herself the target of the man who killed her reindeer calf all those years ago, something inside of her finally breaks. The guilt, fear, and anger she’s been carrying since childhood come crashing over her like an avalanche, and will lead Elsa to a final catastrophic confrontation.

Publisher Review

Stolen is an extraordinary novel. A coming-of-age-story you'll get lost in, about youth and heritage and the never-ending struggle to be allowed to exist. Although set in the coldest and most northern part of Scandinavia, I'm convinced it's a universal story to be loved everywhere in the world -- FREDRIK BACKMAN, author of A MAN CALLED OVE Ann-Helen Laestadius's debut novel for adults highlights the discrimination Sweden's ethnic minority Sami have suffered over the years for their determination to pursue a traditional lifestyle as reindeer herders * GUARDIAN * Extraordinarily good ... A gripping and moving work of literary fiction ... Stolen promises to be the catalyst for a greater global awareness of the range of issues facing the Sami. First and foremost, it's a terrific novel * NEW EUROPEAN * It's with laudable subtlety that Laestadius depicts the stresses and strains unique to a people trying to stay true to their ancient way of life while coping with prejudice, persecution and the unfolding impact of global heating * OBSERVER * The heart, and the great appeal, of this novel is its empathetic portrait of a young woman who flourishes in this harsh, but beautiful, landscape ... Highlights the paradox of being oppressed in one of the most egalitarian countries in the world ... Laestadius has a keen eye for ... the elemental hardship of life on the edge of a wilderness' * FINANCIAL TIMES * A moving and powerful exploration of the Sami community ... This eye-opening, explorative insight into the Sami community and a personal journey for the author has had a profound and lingering effect on me as a reader. * BUZZMAG * It possesses a strong narrative drive and offers an immediacy and accessibility that allows an unhindered glimpse into the experience of modern-day Sami, making a convincing and fervent argument for greater protection of their land-tied way of life * GEOGRAPHICAL * Has struck a chord worldwide * NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * An atmospheric tale, both beautiful and cruel * CRIME MONTHLY * Beautiful and devastating, Stolen shines a powerful and important light on the Sami community and the growing challenges they face in a changing world -- CAROLE JOHNSTONE, author of MIRRORLAND Viscerally clear fiction of both the fractured, violent nature of the Sami's relationship with their Nordic occupiers and the coming of age of an innocent girl. Written with such cool clarity, Stolen is a perfect metaphor of our slippery grip on humanity and our tenuous relationship with the Earth -- TANYA TALAGA, bestselling author of SEVEN FALLEN FEATHERS Sami author Ann-Helen Laestadius has written a fresh, devastating, and insightful novel about Sami life and the struggle for justice in a rapidly changing world. A love for the imperiled landscape reverberates throughout this engaging read -- MEGAN MAYHEW BERGMAN, author of HOW STRANGE A SEASON Stolen is in equal measure a gripping and thrilling mystery as it is a testament to the continued beating heart of Sami life. Ann-Helen Laestadius takes her place as an important voice in world Indigenous literature -- MICHELLE GOOD, author of FIVE LITTLE INDIANS Laestadius's nuanced English-language debut is a story of a family torn apart by cultural tensions ... The sense of place and character development make for an affecting portrait of the Sami's disenfranchisement * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * A revelatory account of not-well-known assaults on the rights of an Indigenous group ... The legacies of long-held social prejudices against the Indigenous group - racism, economic insecurity, and the traumas borne by the community's elders who had been removed from the group in childhood and sent to "nomad schools" - continue to haunt Sami life with devastating effects ... Looming over the tale is the spectre of climate change and its impacts on the traditional Sami herding methods * KIRKUS * A sharp and socially critical novel with an intensity that makes it powerful and strong ... Whatever you do, don't miss out on this novel * Dagens Nyheter (SE) * Laestadius writes with burning intensity about a community around the Arctic Circle that is rarely portrayed. Her commitment shines through and constantly urges the reader to continue reading. It may be foolhardy to name this year's most powerful book as early as February. But that Stolen is one of the most important Swedish books of the year is indisputable * Demokraatti (FI) * Stolen is not only a fierce cry for justice, but also an empathic and beautiful story about the love of and nature * Norra Skane (SE) * One of the most talked about books this spring ... Stolen is a moving, multifaceted, and important contemporary novel that highlights many serious themes and portrays a society and a situation that needs to be discussed many times over. A well-written story that leaves a lasting impression * P4 Vasternorrland (SE) * A deeply gripping and atmospheric novel that will take hold of your heart. Filled with compelling characters and a formidable landscape - this debut is a triumph! -- DANIELLE DANIEL, award-winning author of DAUGHTERS OF THE DEER In a careful and at times poetic prose [Laestadius] portrays milieus, conflicts, and magic from an area that has long been underrepresented in literary fiction in Sweden * Expressen (SE) * Ann-Helen Laestadius's writing flows seamlessly, with a piercing psychological and keen eye for societal issues. I am especially happy about the elegant ending, that beautifully ties the circle together and brings hope of a brighter future * Hufvudstadsbladet (FI) * Intimately and vividly portrayed. The novel gives beautiful insights into the life of the Sami and their struggle for justice. An accessible and at the same time deep, beautiful, and suspenseful tale of a part of the world many of us know very little about. It deserves a large audience * BTJ (SE) * The best trick of fiction is how it can make us feel part of something, and Laestadius does just that ... Incredibly thrilling * Joenkoepings-Posten (SE) * Both a thrilling page-turner and a story to remember for a long time to come * Sundsvalls Tidning (SE) * Stolen is an important novel that provides insight into modern Sami life. This is the first step in a new direction for an author with a crucial message: I will be sure to follow her going forward * Svenska Dagbladet (SE) * A stunningly suspenseful, glowing story, in which a perceptive narrator brings a whole new world to the reader * Helsingin Sanomat * A splendid novel. [...] The characters are lovingly and skillfully portrayed, in such a way that makes it hard to let go of them afterwards * Suomen Kuvalehti *

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