Big in Sweden: A Novel (Hardcover)

Big in Sweden: A Novel By Sally Franson Cover Image
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"If you devoured Pippi Longstocking as a kid, you will not be able to turn away from Big in Sweden. Reading this hilarious, heartfelt book was even more fun than watching reality television. I absolutely loved it!" — Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane

A charming, wise, and laugh-out-loud funny novel following an American woman competing on a Swedish reality show in an attempt to discover her roots.

Paulie Johansson has never put much stock in the idea of family: she has her long-term boyfriend Declan and beloved best friend Jemma, and that’s more than enough for her. Yet one night on a lark, she lets Jemma convince her to audition for Sverige och Mig, a show on Swedish television where Swedish-Americans compete to win the ultimate prize: a reunion with their Swedish relatives. Much to her shock, her drunken submission video wins her a spot on the show, and against Declan’s advice Paulie decides to go for it.

Armed with her Polaroid camera, a beat-up copy of Pippi Longstocking, and an unquenchable sense of possibility, Paulie hops on a plane to Sweden and launches into the contest with seven other Americans, all under the watchful eye of a camera crew. At first, Paulie is certain that she and her competitors have nothing in common besides their passports and views their bloodthirsty ambitions with suspicion. Yet amid the increasingly absurd challenges—rowing from Denmark to Sweden in the freezing rain, battling through obstacle courses, competing in a pickled herring eating contest—Paulie finds herself rethinking her snap judgments about her fellow countrymen, while her growing attachment to her Swedish roots increases her resolve to win the competition herself.

Grappling with long-held notions of family, friendship, and love—not to mention her feelings for the distractingly handsome Swedish cameraman who’s been assigned to follow her around—Paulie starts to reconsider her past and rethink what she wants for the future. A fish-out-of-water tale filled with warmth, optimism, and wit, Big in Sweden is at its heart a love story: love for family, friends, country, and—most importantly—oneself. 

About the Author

Sally Franson is the author of A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Best American Travel Writing, and on NPR, among other places. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and was educated at Barnard College and the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis.

Praise For…

“Sally Franson is a world class entertainer. She can finesse a serio-comic moment in a way that leaves you catching your breath. Deft and delicious, this book is a flat out delight machine. A heart opener, a page turner, and a true ‘originell!' I laughed out loud, I ugly cried, and I never, ever wanted it to end.”
Meg Ryan, actor, writer, director

"If you devoured Pippi Longstocking as a kid, you will not be able to turn away from Big in Sweden. Reading this hilarious, heartfelt book was even more fun than watching reality television. I absolutely loved it!" — Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane

“Big in Sweden is full of quick insight and charming detail, and absolutely packed with one-liners. Sally Franson is a brilliant comic writer—and one with a deep love for all her characters. It’s a dazzling combination.”
Katherine Heiny, author of Games and Rituals

"Swedish pancakes, Viking villages, evangelical relay races: Sally Franson's hilariously cantankerous cast of "Crying Americans" vie for the chance to discover their Nordic roots in this raucous, big-hearted book. Imagine meeting the Great British Bake-Off... with ABBA and karaoke.  Big in Sweden is a *very* funny novel about the families we inherit and the ones we ultimately create for ourselves." — Julie Schumacher, bestselling, Thurber Prize-winning author of The Dear Committee Trilogy

“This frothy, sneaky tale from Franson intermixes elements of The Bold Type, Mad Men, and The Devil Wears Prada.” — Entertainment Weekly on A Lady's Guide to Selling Out

“A wry, observant take on career success and ambition.” — New York Post on A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out

“Bitingly funny . . . [Sally] Franson’s snappy debut nimbly skewers the high-flying world of advertising and romance in the age of social media. . . . Franson’s irresistibly flawed heroine holds her own as she strives to find honesty, meaning, and even love in a demanding world, resulting in an addictive, escapist novel.” — Publishers Weekly on A Lady's Guide to Selling Out

“A high-spirited heroine loses herself in a vortex of modern striving in this debut novel. . . Come for the hilarious narration, stay for the whirlwind plot, luxuriate in the satirical gleam.” — Kirkus Reviews on A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out

“A fast-paced and quick-witted trip into the world of advertising today. With smart, funny characters and perfectly crafted dialogue, Franson cleverly explores the battle between giving in and staying true to oneself.” — Booklist on A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063312746
ISBN-10: 0063312743
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English