by Joy K. Lintelman
Near the end of her life, Mina Anderson penned a lively memoir that helped Swedish novelist Vilhelm Moberg create “Kristina,” the central female character in his beloved emigrant novels. But Mina’s story was different from Kristina’s. Moberg’s character constantly yearned for Sweden. Mina herself wrote how grateful she was for the opportunity to be in America, “I have never regretted that I left Sweden. I have had it better here.”
The book traces Mina’s trip across the Atlantic to Wisconsin and then to the Twin Cities where she worked as a domestic servant, and finally to her move to rural Mille Lacs County, where she and her husband worked a farm, raised seven children, and contributed to rural Swedish community life. Author Joy Lintelman (professor of history at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN) expands upon Mina’s memoir by detailing and including the social, cultural, and economic realities experienced by countless Swedish women. This is a MN Book Award Winner, and winner of a 2010 Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History.