My Viking Lady of the Lake was inspired by the pandemic. In its early stages Glenn Sigurdson was drawn to the story of his great-grandparents who lost four children to tuberculosis in the early years of the last century.
Fictionalized but based on true facts, the story unfolds in a series of scenes like a film. It is 1905. The opening scene is in Valgerdur and Stefan Sigurdsson’s palatial home along the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Here they sit helplessly at the bedside of their oldest son, Johannes, 17, watching his life being stolen from him hour by hour, and with it so much promise for the future. Barely a year had passed since they had buried their 8 year old Gudrun, and four years before that Stefan at age 3. You are taken inside their hearts and minds as they reflect back on the forces and events that had shaped their dramatic journey to this time and place. You are with them as they make the momentous decision to leave their Icelandic homeland for a distant land. You accompany them as they meet and start building a life together as prominent leaders in the community of New Iceland. You ride the waves of their great successes and tragic setbacks. This signature story lends its name to a Collection Inspired by the Pandemic through which Glenn continues his exploration of the people and places of Lake Winnipeg since the arrival of the Icelandic immigrants to those shores in 1875, a mission begun in Vikings on a Prairie Ocean. The stories flow chronologically each touching on universal themes of respect, relationships, and reconciliation.
Rich narratives, accompanied by unique archival photographs, reveal timeless truths around which resilient people and communities are built, opening a window on a unique people, place, and time little known in Canadian history.
It connects you to the universal story of millions whose lives have been destroyed or disrupted over the sweep of time in a pandemic by an enemy they could neither see nor fight.
A History – A Career – A Memoir
Here, Glenn Sigurdson, author of the acclaimed Vikings on a Prairie Ocean, continues his exploration of history as a living story that defines who we are and shapes who we are becoming. He introduces new engaging short stories of the people, places, and influences from a boyhood growing up in a legendary Lake Winnipeg fishing family. He takes you inside the wisdom of the lake which has guided his life and work. He shares the insights and tools he has put to work to earn an international reputation helping others resolve deeply embedded differences, reach tough decisions, and build resilient relationships. Join Glenn in this journey.
Glenn has a special relationship with the people of Canada’s First Nations and the good way and place that comes from shines through these pages. For the Cree and Ojibway, and the Icelanders of Lake Winnipeg, this book will always have a special meaning. Few Canadians, if any, could have written this; every Canadian should read it.
Lake Winnipeg is the center of the story…it gave these immigrants a sense of place… a highly interdependent network… and made their community stretch beyond their ethnicity to do business with people of all races and creeds.
No matter what immigrant ancestry brought you to Canada, this story of Icelandic immigration will open new windows on the dynamics of your ancestor’s struggles to migrate and settle in Canada, introduce another important perspective on how new immigrants interacted with First Nations, and reveal how Icelandic values and culture blended into Canada.