Linnea Axelsson


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Pushkin Press
25 January 2024
ISBN: 9781805331315
432 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Saskia Vogel

In Northern Sámi, the word Ædnan means the land, the ground, the earth. In this majestic verse novel, Linnea Axelsson chronicles the fates of two Indigenous Sámi families, telling of their struggle and persistence over a century of colonial displacement, loss and resistance.

It begins with Ristin and Ber-Joná, who are trying to care for their troubled young sons while migrating their reindeer herd in northernmost Scandinavia during the 1910s. The coming of the Swedes brings new borders that lay waste to Sámi customs and migration paths – and mean devastating separation for this family.

In the 1970s, Lise grapples with how she was forced to adapt to Swedish society, haunted by her time in a ‘nomad school’ where she was deprived of her ancestors’ language and history. Lise’s daughter, Sandra, seeks to reclaim that heritage, becoming an activist struggling for reparations from the Swedish state.

As one generation succeeds another, their voices interweave and form a spellbinding hymn to lands and traditions lost and reclaimed. Written in sparse, glittering verse that flows like a current,?Ædnan is a profound and moving epic of Sámi life.