Stolen: an evening with Sámi literature

The Scandinavian House in cooperation with the HYB4 Reading Room organises a literary evening dedicated to the novel Stolen (Czech 2022 under the title Odcizení, Kniha Zlín, translated by Petra Hesová) by the Swedish-Sámi author Ann-Helén Laestadius. The host, Jitka Hanušová, will debate about the book and its context with translator Petra Hesová and editor Viola Somogyi. Literary excerpts from the book will be performed by actress Lucie Ingrová.

The event will take place on 12 October 2022 at 7.00 pm in the Reading Room of Hlína Café in Hybernská Campus.

Free admission.

The debate will be in Czech only.

About the book

On a winter day north of the Arctic Circle, nine-year-old Elsa—daughter of Sámi reindeer herders—sees a man brutally kill her beloved reindeer calf and threaten her into silence. When her father takes her to report the crime, local police tell them that there is nothing they can do about these “stolen” animals. Killings like these are classified as theft in the reports that continue to pile up, uninvestigated. But reindeer are not just the Sámi’s livelihood, they also hold spiritual significance; attacking a reindeer is an attack on the culture itself.

Ten years later, hatred and threats against the Sámi keep escalating, and more reindeer are tortured and killed in Elsa’s community. Finally, she’s had enough and decides to push back on the apathetic police force. The hunter comes after her this time, leading to a catastrophic final confrontation.

Based on real events, Ann-Helén Laestadius’s award-winning novel Stolen is part coming-of-age story, part love song to a disappearing natural world, and part electrifying countdown to a dramatic resolution—a searing depiction of a forgotten part of Sweden.

About the author

Ann-Helén Laestadius is an author and journalist from Kiruna, Sweden. She is Sámi and of Tornedalian descent, two of Sweden’s national minorities. In 2016, Laestadius was awarded the prestigious August Prize for Best Young Adult and Children’s Novel for Ten Past One, for which she was also awarded Norrland’s Literature Prize. Stolen is her first adult novel and was named Sweden’s Book of the Year.

Literary evenings in the HYB4 Čítárna (Reading Room) are generously supported by the City of Prague, the Ministry of Culture and the State Fund of Culture of the Czech Republic. The event is organized by the Scandinavian House.