Experience / Events / Big in Sweden: Book Launch Party with Sally Franson

Big in Sweden: Book Launch Party with Sally Franson

Celebrate the release of Sally Franson’s latest novel, Big in Sweden, with a Book Launch Party featuring live music by Oron Stenesh and special guests Curtis Sittenfeld and Emma Törzs! Inspired by her experience as a 2022 cast member of Allt för Sverige, Big in Sweden explores notions of family, friendship, and love through Swedish reality TV.

Sally’s novel will be available for purchase at the ASI Museum Store.

About the Author

Sally Franson grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and was educated at Barnard College and the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Best American Travel Writing, and on NPR, among other places.

Her first novel, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out was published in 2018. A screen adaptation by Meg Ryan with Netflix and Anonymous Content is in the works! In 2022, Sally was a special winner of Allt för Sverige, a Swedish reality TV show about finding your roots. By topping the other contestants through a series of challenges, Sally earned a reunion with newly discovered (and distant) relatives, which she called “one of the best days of my life, that happened to be filmed and shared with 1.4 million people.”

About the Book

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.