The Emigrants (novels)

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The Emigrants
Karlshamn auswandererdenkmal.jpg
Statue of the main characters, Karl-Oscar and Kristina, in Karlshamn
Author Vilhelm Moberg
Original title Utvandrarna
Translator Gustaf Lannestock
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Genre Historic drama
Publisher Bonniers (Swedish edition)
Publication date
1949, 1952, 1956, 1959
Published in English
1951, 1954, 1961, 1961
Media type Print
Pages 1780 (in total, Swedish edition)

The Emigrants is the collective name of a series of four novels by the Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg:

The Swedish titles are: Utvandrarna (The Emigrants), Invandrarna (The Immigrants), Nybyggarna (The Settlers) and Sista brevet till Sverige (The Last Letter to Sweden). All books have been translated to English. The novels are generally considered to be among the best pieces of Swedish literature.


For longer descriptions, see the individual pages of each novel.

The novel-series describes the long and strenuous journey for a group of people in Småland, Sweden, as they emigrate to America and the Minnesota territory (as of 1849-1858), where they settle during the earliest time of Swedish emigration to North America, in the late 1850s. The choice of Minnesota territory is made after arrival at New York City, due to hearsay that the climate there reminded of Småland's.


The novels have to date been sold in nearly two million copies in Sweden and have been translated into more than twenty languages.[1]

The reception was not all positive, though. At the time of their releases, the novels were criticised due to their use of profanity.


  • The series was in a poll conducted by Biblioteket i fokus ("Library in focus") in 1997 voted as the best Swedish book of the 20th century by 27,000 people.[2]
  • The series was in a poll conducted by Sveriges television in 1998 voted as the most important Swedish book of all time by 17,000 people.[3]


Two movies based on the books have been released:

Additionally, a musical by former ABBA members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, based on the four novels, was produced in the 90s: Kristina från Duvemåla. It was a great success in Sweden and abroad.


  1. ^ Moberg biography by JoAnn Hanson-Stone at the Swedish Emigrant Institute.
  2. ^ Results of the poll provided by Project Runeberg.
  3. ^ Results of the poll provided by Project Runeberg.

External links[edit]