In a sense, everything we authors produce can be labeled as “human interest” when it’s our goal to have our words make a difference in another person’s life. For me, the guiding light has been to show how, as a young Swedish-speaking girl in post-war Finland, my life in the United States became colored by my sense of not belonging anywhere. This experience led eventually to my memoir set against the history of Jewish-Scandinavians during World War II (The Yellow Star That Wasn’t: Scandinavia, Miami, and Me).
For this space, I’ve selected the following few samples mainly because they are representative of a variety of sub-topics of the overall genre of human interest:
Hassles Aside, Amenities Make Condos Worthwhile. Miami Herald, (Jan. 26, 2003).
Condo-living can be a real hassle but there is a trade-off. My humorous essay speaks of how I avoided the condo-commandoes and developed my own coping skills.
Musings on “Gud som haver.” The Quarterly (Swedish Finn Historical Society; http://finlander.genealogia.fi/), Vol. 3 (Fall 2009).
Although this is a story about an ancient Swedish children’s prayer I approach it from the standpoint of the philosophy of translations. It’s intended to high-light the challenges faced by a anyone trying to transfer the meaning of one language to another. Those of us who’ve faced the demand for a perfect translation in another language will relate to the dilemma I present in this short story.
Bars and Cafés: the Coffee Culture in Finland. The Quarterly (Swedish Finn Historical Society; http://finlander.genealogia.fi/), Vol 20, (Fall 2012).
Maybe surprisingly, coffee drinking has deep roots in Finland where it was first a prohibited pleasure. But when the coffee pot became a meeting point for parishioners welcoming visiting clergy, a distinct new social experience was born. Today, it has evolved into full-fledged coffee houses that compete with those on the rest of the Continent. And yes, even the ubiquitous Starbucks.
The picture is of the coffee pot I remember from my childhood (translated inscription, A spot of coffee is the best drink on earth).