Barbara Sjoholm presents 'The Palace of the Snow Queen: Winter Travels in Lapland and Sápmi'

An exploration of the winter wonders and entangled histories of the Nordic countries' northernmost landscapes—now back in print with a new afterword by the author

A University Press Week event!

Third Place Books welcomes Barbara Sjoholm to our Ravenna store! Sjoholm will be discussing her new book, The Palace of the Snow Queen: Winter Travels in Lapland and Sápmi, a vivid account of Sjoholm’s adventures and a timely investigation of how ice and snow shape our imaginations and create a vision that continues to draw visitors to the North. This event is free and open to the public.

For important updates, registration is highly recommended in advance. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

November 13–17 is University Press Week! Since 2012, University Press Week has provided an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the work of university presses. University presses and other nonprofit scholarly publishers perform invaluable services for researchers, teachers, librarians, and the rest of the scholarly community, for the broader world of readers, and ultimately for society itself. While university presses individually highlight what they do year-round, University Press Week allows us to celebrate the value and quality of university presses with one voice.

Having trouble accessing Eventbrite? Click here.


Tickets available now

for this in-person event


About The Palace of the Snow Queen. . .

After many years of travel in the Nordic countries—usually preferring to visit during the warmer months—Barbara Sjoholm found herself drawn to Lapland and Sápmi one winter just as mørketid, the dark time, set in. What ensued was a wide-ranging journey that eventually spanned three winters, captivatingly recounted in The Palace of the Snow Queen

From observing the annual construction of the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, to crossing the storied Finnmark Plateau in Norway, to attending a Sámi film festival in Finland, Sjoholm dives deep into the rich traditions and vibrant creative communities of the North. She writes of past travelers to Lapland and contemporary tourists in Sápmi, as well as of her encounters with Indigenous reindeer herders, activists, and change-makers. Her new afterword bears witness to the perseverance of the Sámi in the face of tourism, development, and climate change.  


Praise for The Palace of the Snow Queen. . .

“The Palace of the Snow Queen is an exquisite book. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Lapland in particular, or travel in general.”
—Vendela Vida, author of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name

“The colder the better seems to be Sjoholm’s motto as she travels to Swedish Lapland in mid-November for what she calls the ‘blue hour, when the slate-colored snow looks colder than white’ and to see the building of the Icehotel, a temporary accommodation with 60 rooms in which ice blocks covered by mattresses and reindeer skins are the beds. Made of snow and ice, it melts each spring. Sjoholm seeks to understand how “imagination and hard work” can turn essentially frozen water into architecture. Fortunately, there is more than this to the book. It also provides a fascinating portrait of the Sami, the indigenous people of Lapland, and their history, culture, and struggle to survive in the modern world. And it has its share of entertaining anecdotes, like those about the bachelor party of Englishmen who want to experience an ‘authentic’ Lapland adventure and what it’s like attending the Ice Globe Theatre’s Macbeth while the temperature dips to 13 below. A captivating homage to the frozen far North and the Sami.”

Barbara Sjoholm is a writer and translator of Danish and Norwegian literature. Her translations include By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends (Minnesota, 2019), and she is author of Black Fox: A Life of Emilie Demant Hatt, Artist and Ethnographer and From Lapland to Sápmi: Collecting and Returning Sámi Craft and Culture (Minnesota, 2022). She lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from the event.

For media inquiries, access inquiries, or questions about our Covid-19 policies, please email or call our Lake Forest Park store at (206) 366-3311.