Thursday, August 15, 2019

Documenting America's Swedish Immigrants: The Life and Work of Lennart Setterdahl

This biography is published by Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois.
The Swedish immigration to the United States began in earnest in the 1840s and ebbed out in the 1930s when about one million Swedes had arrived in search of better opportunities. This book highlights 35 years of travels in North America to microfilm historical records and tape personal memories of Swedish immigrants and their descendants, an accomplishment which has greatly benefited genealogical researchers.

Read about the man behind this unprecedented effort, Lennart Setterdahl, and his family. It begins in 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio, and the voluntary recording of interviews in the 1960s in northeastern Ohio and the western parts of Pennsylvania and New York. The story continues in 1969 when Mr. Setterdahl was engaged by the Swedish Emigrant Institute, Växjö, Sweden, to locate, inventory, and microfilm Swedish-American church records, a project which was later expanded to include secular societies, periodicals, not-for-profit organizations, and companies founded by Swedes, newspaper holdings, as well as private collections. The work necessitated travels by car through every state in the continental United States and some Canadian provinces. From 1971, the Setterdahl home base was East Moline, Illinois. During the years 1985-1994, Mr. Setterdahl devoted his time to recording oral history. The story ends with Mr. and Mrs. Setterdahl working on a project in Sydney, Australia, in the beginning of 1995.

The author presents a colorful story of the first-hand travel experiences, tribulations, and rewards connected with the work, placing it in a geographical and historical context. Of the thousands of Swedish Americans whom the Setterdahls met during their travels, the author sketches vignettes of more than one hundred individuals. But perhaps foremost, the book is the story of the author's own immigrant family that constantly had to adjust and pull together to achieve extraordinary results.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Every novelist's dream

It has happened! One of my readers of Titanic Sailing Again thought that my novel was a true story. I just realize that it's the best review I can ever get.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Book signing the author of Titanic Sailing Again, Katrin, almost American and 20 other books.  Book signing Sunday July 28 at The Commons 309 N. Bishop Hill Road, Bishop Hill, Illinois, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Titanic Sailing Again

Author: Lilly Setterdahl
Publisher: Nordstjernan Förlag, New York. Can be ordered from,, or Barnes and Noble.
Paperback, 322 pages.
The passengers dress in period clothing, dance, flirt, and fall in love on the maiden voyage of the newly-built "Titanic Princess" sailing from Jiangsu, China, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2018. But will the ship reach Southampton, England, and New York without serious threats?
True to her tradition, the author creates Scandinavian characters and fits them into the story. Whether you are a Titanic fan or not, you will love reading about the surprise meeting on board of the grandsons of two Titanic survivors, the lady’s maid, Anna, and her rescuer, Roberto, both featured in Setterdahl’s earlier Titanic novels.  

A replica of the Titanic may never be built, but now you don't have to wait for it. You can already read about the three first voyages in this epic novel. The author prepares you for the adventure by going back to the tragic Titanic Maiden voyage in 1912 and singling out two survivors featured in her first two Titanic novels (Maiden of the Titanic and Hero of the Titanic). You will enjoy the short stories about them and their descendants, learn about their interest in the original Titanic and the excitement of third-generation members Bill Whitmore and Ron Cosentino when they learn that a replica will be built. They are ready to book passage for themselves and their families. The author sprinkles actual Titanic stories throughout the book. Imagine yourself standing by the railing and viewing the sunset at sea. Be ready for the adventure.

This is Lilly Setterdahl's fourth book about the Titanic, one of them is the nonfiction book, Not my time to die: The Swedes on board.   

Book signing Sunday July 28, 2019 at Creative Commons, Bishop Hill, IL between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Rare copies of  Swedes in Moline, Illinois (2002) will be available as will other titles.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hero of the Titanic for Kindle

My Hero of the Titanic, first published by the Midwest Writing Center Press in 2011, is now available as an eBook.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Article published in Göteborg, Sweden

"Kvinnornas roll i  byggandet av Bishop Hill," av Lilly Setterdahl, Sverigekontakt, No. 2 juni 2018. (The women's role in the building av Bishop Hill).