Fed pickled herring and gjetost brown cheese as a toddler, Eric Dregni grew up in Norway’s colony in America: Minnesota. As the recipient of a 2004 Fulbright Fellowship in Creative Writing, Dregni lived in Trondheim, Norway where he survived a dinner of rakfisk (fermented fish) thanks to 80-proof aquavit, took the “meat bus” to Sweden for cheap salami with a busload of knitting pensioners, and discovered his great-grandfather’s house in the Lusterfjord only to find out it had been crushed by a boulder then swept away by a river.
10 years later, In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream remains not only relevant, but also an hilarious and heartwarming memoir about Dregni’s year-long long experiment in Norway, including discoveries about his family history, culture clash, and his son’s birth into the remarkably generous Norwegian healthcare system. Dregni visits Norway House 10 years after the publication of his book to share slides and stories from winter in Norway, and to read selections from his book.
Eric Dregni has written about odd landmarks and unusual attractions across the Midwest, such as the Talking Paul Bunyan, the Outhouse Museum of South Dakota, and the World’s Largest Six-Pack in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He lived in Italy for five years where he worked as a travel journalist for a weekly paper and compiled his essays into a book in Italian, Grazie a Dio non Sono Bolognese. While in Italy, he discovered the origins of and obsessions with Vespas, Lambrettas, and other motorscooters and wrote and shot photos for five books on these odd, but stylish, little two-stroke machines. During the summer months, he is the dean of the Italian Concordia Language Village, Lago del Bosco.
He is a freelance writer for the Star Tribune, Italian America, and author of seventeen books, including You’re Sending Me Where? Dispatches from Summer Camp, Never Trust a Thin Cook, Vikings in the Attic, Let’s Go Fishing, and Weird Minnesota.
Dregni is a professor of English and Journalism at Concordia University in St. Paul. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, three kids, and a busy Australian shepherd.
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