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Author of 'Finns in Minnesota' to speak at NY Mills library

Submitted photo Author Arnold R. Alanen will speak at the New York Mills Public Library at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7.

"Finns in Minnesota" author, Arnold R. Alanen, will speak at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, at the New York Mills Public Library. 

Published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, "Finns in Minnesota" has been termed "one of those rare books that is at once edifying and entertaining, of value to both scholars and non-scholars."

Much of the information in the book was derived from Finnish-language sources located throughout Minnesota that have never been used in previous books and accounts.

Besides discussing the Finns' contributions to Minnesota's political, religious, cooperative, and cultural life (including the sauna), the account features the Finland Swedes - the "minority within a minority" - who were born in Finland but spoke Swedish, and thus straddled two ethnic groups.

A professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Alanen was born in the Finnish Triangle and raised in northeastern Minnesota, where he learned Finnish from his immigrant grandparents. He has written extensively on such topics as landscape history, folk architecture, cultural resource preservation, and Finnish-American settlements. He was the Finlandia Foundation National Lecturer of the Year in 2009-10.

This event is free and open to the public. 

No need to read "Finns in Minnesota" before the presentation. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and author signing afterward. Contact the library with questions.