A Year in Lapland

Guest of the Reindeer Herders

Hugh Beach

  • Published: September 2015
  • Subject Listing: Anthropology; Scandinavian Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 256 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Contents

As a young man American Hugh Beach went to live with the Saami reindeer herders of Swedish Lapland. His lyrically written and very personal story of trying to fit into the herding way of life is a rare insider's account of the Saami. In a passionate and informed Afterword to this new edition of the book, he revisits his old friends and looks at how Sweden is attempting to balance the conflicting needs of reindeer herders and environmentalists in the 21st century.
Preface to the English Edition
1. A Start with Henrik
2. On to Virihaure
3. Calf Marking
4. At Home in Staloluokta
5. Parka Separations
6. Lillselet and the Moose Hunt
7. The Sarv Slaughter
8. Autumn Migration to the Lowlands
9. Winter in Jokkmokk
10. Westward with the Spring
Afterword to the 2001 Edition

"An awesome story of grueling work, adventure and friendship above the arctic Circle. . . . Beach gives a memorable portrait of a vanishing way of life."
-Publishers Weekly

"Teased, humored, and painstakingly educated by his polite and often mischevious hosts, the author joined a herder family at their summer settlement, where he listened to tales of evil trolls and ghost reindeer herds; partook in fortune-telling sessions; and learned to fish Saami-style and to share his cognac afterward. . . . An enthusiastic report by a man in love with his subject, best read on a cold winter's night."
-Kirkus Review

"Through the author's eyes, ears, and skin, the reader feels the mosquitoes' stings and shivers at the cold breath of this northern land."