Classic Author Focus: Astrid Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren was a Swedish writer best known for her Pippi Longstocking books. She was also a playwright and wrote more than 30 books for children. She is the fourth most translated children’s literature writer.

Many of Lindgren’s children’s books reflect her memories of growing up in Näs, Sweden. After school, Lindgren took a job at a local paper in Vimmerby near her home. Her affair with a married editor led to her moving to Stockholm and having a child. In Stockholm, she worked as a stenographer and secretary, including for a criminologist, whom she used as the model for her detective, Bill Bergson. Later she married her boss, Sture Lindgren.

In 1944, she won a prize for the novel The Confidences of Britt-Marie. A year later, she won the same prize for Pippi Longstocking, a book that was originally turned down by the publishers and went on to be published in 60 languages. She is said to have written Pippi Longstocking to amuse her daughter, who was sick in bed.

In 1976, the discovery that her marginal tax rate was seat at 102% after she wrote a satirical piece about the Social Demoncratic government may have contributed to its being voted out after 44 years in power. She devoted herself to children’s and animal rights, and in 1994 received the Right Livelihood Award.

Lindgren died in her apartment in Stockholm from a viral infection at the age of 94. Members of the Swedish royal family and the prime minister were among those who attended the funeral.

Dates: 1907-2002

Most popular works: the Pippi Longstocking books, the Emil books, the Children’s Everywhere series

Other works: the Bill Bergson series, the Children on Troublemaker Street series, the Kati series, and many more

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5 thoughts on “Classic Author Focus: Astrid Lindgren

  1. Thank you for this portrait of Astrid Lindgren. In Sweden, I think, most kids grow up with her stories, and I loved many of them. Still popular today, they don’t go out of fashion. She understood very well what children wanted and liked. I doubt any other author could have written a children’s book about a child like Pippi, without having received complaints. She is wonderful.

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  2. Wow, what an interesting life, so iconic. The girls and I, when they were little and we homeschooled them, enjoy Pippi. I also have a Christmas book by her. I didn’t know about her other books. The series Pippi, in Spain when I was growing up was a huge hit and it’s beloved by many. Thanks for featuring her.

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