Finns and the Indigenous People in the Great Lakes Region: Playing with Settler Myths in Late 20th- and Early 21st-Century Finnish American Fiction
Chapter from the book: Andersson R. & Lahti J. 2022. Finnish Settler Colonialism in North America: Rethinking Finnish Experiences in Transnational Spaces.
This chapter explores the Finnish settler migration mythology through a selection of Finnish–American literature produced in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The idea is to shed light on the ways in which these texts create, spread, and perpetuate the settler myths. A close reading of literary texts can offer the opportunity to refocus, reframe, and reconceptualize Finnish experiences in North America. The chapter demonstrates that these texts can be approached as reinforcing the Finnish–Indigenous myth. They feature perennial images and themes as well as familiar one dimensional and/or glamorizing and sugarcoating stereotypes, such as shared lore and mysticism, sauna–sweat lodge similarity, shared special affinity with nature and woods, and, all in all, Finnish uniqueness.