Astrid Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren

Infobox Writer
name = Astrid Lindgren

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birthdate = birth date|1907|11|14|mph=y
birthplace = Vimmerby, Småland Sweden
deathdate = death date and age|2002|1|28|1907|11|14|mf=y
deathplace = Stockholm, Sweden
occupation = Children's book author
nationality = Swedish
period =
genre =
subject =
movement =
notableworks =
influences =
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website =

Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren (Audio|sv-Astrid Lindgren.ogg|listen to pronunciation, née Ericsson, 14 November 1907 – 28 January 2002) was a Swedish children's book author and screenwriter, whose many works were translated into 85 languages and published in more than 100 countries. She has sold roughly 145 million copies worldwide. Today, she is best remembered for writing the Pippi Longstocking and Karlsson-on-the-Roof book series.


Astrid Lindgren grew up in Näs, near Vimmerby, Småland, and many of her books are based on her family and childhood memories. Pippi Longstocking, her most famous character, however, was invented by her daughter Karin, who was, at the time, ill and bed-ridden.

Lindgren was the daughter of Samuel August Ericsson and Hanna Johnsson. She had two sisters. Her brother, Gunnar Ericsson, was a member of the Swedish parliament. Upon finishing school, Lindgren took a job with the a local newspaper in Vimmerby. When she became pregnant with the chief editor's child in 1926, he proposed marriage. She demurred, and moved to Stockholm, learning to become a typist and stenographer. In due time she gave birth to her son Lars in Copenhagen and left him in the care of a foster family.

Although poorly paid, she saved whatever she could and travelled as often as possible to Copenhagen to be with Lars; often just over a weekend, spending most of her time on the train back and forth. Eventually, she managed to bring Lars home, leaving him in the care of her parents until she could afford to raise him in Stockholm. In 1931 she married her boss, Sture Lindgren (1898-1952). Three years later, in 1934, Lindgren gave birth to her second child, Karin, who later became a translator. The family moved in 1941 to an apartment on Dalagatan, with a view over Vasaparken, where Astrid lived until her death.

Astrid Lindgren died in 2002, at the age of 94.


In 1944 Lindgren won second prize in a competition held by the newly founded publishing house Rabén & Sjögren with her novel "Britt-Marie lättar sitt hjärta" ("Britt-Marie unburdens her heart"). A year later she won first prize in the same competition with the children's book "Pippi Långstrump" ("Pippi Longstocking"), which has since become one of the most beloved children's books in the world. She had already sent Pippi Longstocking to the Bonniers publishing house but was rejected. While Lindgren almost immediately became a much appreciated writer, the irreverent attitude towards adult authority that is a distinguishing characteristic of many of her characters has occasionally drawn the ire of some conservatives.

The women's magazine "Damernas Värld" sent Lindgren to the USA in 1948 to write short essays. Upon arrival she is said to have been upset by the discrimination against African Americans. A few years later she published the book "Kati in America", a collection of short essays inspired by the trip. In 1958, Lindgren became the second recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, an international award for youth literature. On her 90th birthday, she was pronounced Swede of the Year by a radio show. In its entry on Scandanavian fantasy, "The Encyclopedia of Fantasy" named Lindgren the foremost Swedish contributor to modern children's fantasy. [ Citation
last = John-Henri
first = Holmberg
author-link = John-Henri Holmberg
contribution = Scandinavia
year = 1997/1999
title = The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
editor-last = Clute
editor-first = John, and John Grant
pages = 841
place = New York
publisher = St. Martin's Griffin
] Its entry on Lindgren summed up her work in glowing terms: "her niche in children's fantasy remains both secure and exalted. Her stories and images can never be forgotten." [ Citation
last = John-Henri
first = Holmberg
author-link = John-Henri Holmberg
contribution = Lindgren, Astrid (Anna Emilia)
year = 1997/1999
title = The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
editor-last = Clute
editor-first = John, and John Grant
pages = 582
place = New York
publisher = St. Martin's Griffin


In 1976, a scandal arose in Sweden when Lindgren's marginal tax rate was publicized to have risen to 102%. This was to be known as the "Pomperipossa effect" from a story she published in "Expressen" [] on March 3, 1976. The publication led to a stormy tax debate. In the parliamentary election later in the same year the Social Democrat government was voted out for the first time in 40 years, and the Lindgren tax debate was one of several controversies that may have contributed to this result.

Astrid Lindgren was well known both for her support for children's and animal rights, and for her opposition to corporal punishment. In 1993, she received the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize), "...For her commitment to justice, non-violence and understanding of minorities as well as her love and caring for nature."

Honors and memorials

In 1967, Rabén & Sjögren established an annual literary prize, the Astrid Lindgren Prize, in connection with her 60th birthday. The prize, SEK 40,000, is awarded to a Swedish language children's author, every year on her birthday in November.

Following Lindgren's death, the government of Sweden instituted the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in her memory. The award is the world's largest monetary award for children's and youth literature, in the amount of five million SEK.

The collection of Astrid Lindgren's original manuscripts in "Kungliga Biblioteket" (the Royal Library), Stockholm, was placed on UNESCO's [World heritage] list in 2005.

"Asteroid Lindgren"

A minor planet, 3204 Lindgren, discovered in 1978 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, was named after her. [ [ Dictionary of Minor Planet Names - p.256] ] The name of the Swedish micro satellite Astrid 1, launched on January 24, 1995] , was originally selected only as a common Swedish female name, but within a short time it was decided to name the instruments after characters in Astrid Lindgren's books: PIPPI (Prelude in Planetary Particle Imaging), EMIL (Electron Measurements - In-situ and Lightweight), and MIO (Miniature Imaging Optics). Astrid said that maybe people should call her Asteroid Lindgren instead.

"Astrid's Wellspring"

In memory of Astrid Lindgren, a memorial was raised next to her home, named "Källa Astrid" ("Astrid's Wellspring" in English). It is situated at the same place where Astrid Lindgren first heard fairy tales.

The main part of it depicts a child's head, partly cut off, on water with a strange decoration in the water. It was intended to be in the city center, but the people of Vimmerby vehemently opposed the idea of having it there. Astrid Lindgren furthermore had stated that she never wanted to be represented as a statue. However, there is a statue of Lindgren in the city center. The memorial was sponsored by the culture council of Vimmerby.

Lindgren's childhood home is near the statue and open for public. [] Just 100 meters from "Astrid's Wellspring" there is a museum in her memory. The author is buried in Vimmerby.


The best-known books by Astrid Lindgren:

*The "Pippi Longstocking" series ("Pippi Långstrump")
*"Karlsson-on-the-Roof" series ("Karlsson på taket")
*"Emil of Lönneberga" ("Emil i Lönneberga")
*The "Bill Bergson" series ("Mästerdetektiven Blomkvist")
*"Ronia the Robber's Daughter" ("Ronja rövardotter")
*"Seacrow Island" ("TjorvenSaltkråkan")
*"The Six Bullerby Children" / "The Children of Noisy Village" ("Barnen i Bullerbyn")
*"Mio, my Mio" (also known as "Mio, my Son") ("Mio, min Mio")
*"The Brothers Lionheart" ("Bröderna Lejonhjärta")

An alphabetically sorted list of other books by Astrid Lindgren which have been translated into English:

* "A Calf for Christmas"
* "Brenda Helps Grandmother"
* "The Children of Noisy Village"
* "The Children on Troublemaker Street"
* "Christmas in Noisy Village"
* "Christmas in the Stable"
* "Circus Child"
* "The Day Adam Got Mad"
* "Dirk Lives in Holland"
* "The Dragon With Red Eyes"
* "Gerda Lives in Norway"
* "Emil and the Bad Tooth"
* "Emil and His Clever Pig"
* "Emil Gets into Mischief "
* "Emil in the Soup Tureen"
* "Emil's Little Sister"
* "Emil's Pranks"
* "Emil's Sticky Problem"
* "The Ghost of Skinny Jack"
* "Happy Times in Noisy Village"
* "I Don't Want to Go to Bed"
* "I Want a Brother or Sister"
* "I Want to Go to School Too"
* "Kati in America"
* "Kati in Italy"
* "Kati in Paris"
* "Lotta"
* "Lotta's Bike"
* "Lotta's Christmas Surprise"
* "Lotta's Easter Surprise"
* "Lotta Leaves Home"
* "Lotta on Troublemaker Street"
* "Markos Lives in Yugoslavia"
* "Marje"
* "Marje to the Rescue"
* "Matti Lives in Finland"
* "Mirabelle"
* "Mischievous Martens"
* "Mischievous Meg"
* "Most Beloved Sister"
* "My Nightingale Is Singing"
* "My Swedish Cousins"
* "My Very Own Sister"
* "Nariko-San,girl of Japan"
* "Noby Lives in Thailand"
* "Rasmus and the Vagabond" (aka "Rasmus and the Tramp")
* "The Runaway Sleigh Ride"
* "Scrap and the Pirates"
* "Sea crow Island"
* "Siva lives on Kilimanjaro"
* "Simon Small Moves in"
* "That's Not My Baby"
* "The Tomten"
* "The Tomten and the Fox"
* "The World's Best Karlson"
* "Kajsa Kavat"


*Astrid Lindgren - en levnadsteckning. Margareta Strömstedt. Stockholm, Rabén & Sjögren, 1977.
* [ Astrid Lindgrens webbplats]
*Paul Berf, Astrid Surmatz (ed.): Astrid Lindgren. Zum Donnerdrummel! Ein Werk-Porträt. Zweitausendeins, Frankfurt 2000 ISBN 3-8077-0160-5
*Vivi Edström: Astrid Lindgren. Im Land der Märchen und Abenteuer. Oetinger, Hamburg 1997 ISBN 3-7891-3402-3
*Maren Gottschalk: Jenseits von Bullerbü. Die Lebensgeschichte der Astrid Lindgren. Beltz & Gelberg, Weinheim 2006 ISBN 3-407-80970-0
*Jörg Knobloch (ed.): Praxis Lesen: Astrid Lindgren: A4-Arbeitsvorlagen Klasse 2-6, AOL-Verlag, Lichtenau 2002 ISBN 3-89111-653-5
*Sybil Gräfin Schönfeldt : Astrid Lindgren. 10. ed., Rowohlt, Reinbek 2000 ISBN 3-499-50371-9
*Margareta Strömstedt: Astrid Lindgren. Ein Lebensbild. Oetinger, Hamburg 2001 ISBN 3-7891-4717-6
*Astrid Surmatz: Pippy Longstrump als Paradigma. Die deutsche Rezeption Astrid Lindgrens und ihr internationaler Kontext. Francke, Tübingen, Basel 2005 ISBN 3-7720-3097-1
*Metcalf, Eva-Maria: Astrid Lindgren. New York, Twayne, 1995.

See also

*Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
*List of Swedish language writers

External links

* [ Astrid Lindgren's works] — Official site produced by license holders
* [ Astrid Lindgren's World] — Amusement Park official site
* [ Astrid Lindgrens Näs] — Official site produced by the Astrid Lindgren-museum and culture center Astrid Lindgrens Näs in Vimmerby
* [ Astrid Lindgren] — Right Livelihood Award (1994)
* [ Astrid Lindgren] — A fan site
* [ Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002)] — Biography of Astrid Lindgren. Includes bibliography, with date and English translation of title.
* [ Astrid spacecraft description] — NASA's National Space Science Data Center site

NAME=Lindgren, Astrid
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Lindgren, Astrid Anna Emilia; née Ericsson
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Swedish children's book author
DATE OF BIRTH=November 14 1907
PLACE OF BIRTH=Näs, Vimmerby, Småland, Sweden
DATE OF DEATH=January 28 2002
PLACE OF DEATH=Stockholm, Sweden

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Astrid-Lindgren-Preis — ist der Name mehrerer Literaturpreise: Astrid Lindgren Gedächtnis Preis (Litteraturpriset till Astrid Lindgrens minne; ALMA Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) Astrid Lindgren Preis (Schweden) (Astrid Lindgren priset) Astrid Lindgren Preis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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