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Swedish writer of fiction and screenplays
Astrid Lindgren around 1960
Astrid Anna Emilia Ericsson (1907-11-14)14 November 1907 Vimmerby, Sweden
Upon finishing school, Lindgren took a job with a local newspaper in Vimmerby. She had a relationship with the chief editor, who was married and a father, and who eventually proposed marriage in 1926 after she became pregnant. She declined and moved to the capital city of Stockholm, learning to become a typist and stenographer (she would later write most of her drafts in stenography). 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 traveled 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 1932 she married her employer, Sture Lindgren (1898-1952), who left his wife for her. Three years later, in 1934, Lindgren gave birth to her second child, Karin, who would become a translator. The character Pippi Longstocking was invented to amuse her daughter while she was ill in bed. Lindgren later related that Karin had suddenly said to her, "Tell me a story about Pippi Longstocking," and the tale was created in response to that request.
The family moved in 1941 to an apartment on Dalagatan, with a view over Vasaparken, where Lindgren remained until her death on 28 January 2002 at the age of 94, having become blind.
Lindgren worked as a journalist and secretary before becoming a full-time author. She served as a secretary for the 1933 Swedish Summer Grand Prix.
In the early 1940s, she worked as a secretary for criminalist Harry Söderman; this experience has been cited as an inspiration for her fictional detective Bill Bergson.
In 1944 Lindgren won second prize in a competition held by Rabén & Sjögren, a new publishing house, with the novel Britt-Marie lättar sitt hjärta (Britt-Marie Unburdens Her Heart). A year later she won first prize in the same competition with the chapter bookPippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking), which had been rejected by Bonniers. (Rabén & Sjögren published it with illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman, the latter's debut in Sweden.) Since then it has become one of the most beloved children's books in the world and has been translated into 60 languages. 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.
In 1956, the inaugural year of the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the German-language edition of Mio, min Mio (Mio, My Son) won the Children's book award. (Sixteen books written by Astrid Lindgren made the Children's Book and Picture Book longlist, 1956-1975, but only Mio, My Son won a prize in its category.)
In its entry on Scandinavianfantasy, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy named Lindgren the foremost Swedish contributor to modern children's fantasy. 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."
By 2012 Astrid Lindgren's books had been translated into 95 different languages and language variants. Further, the first chapter of Ronja the Robber's Daughter has been translated into Latin. Up until 1997 a total of 3,000 editions of her books had been issued internationally, and globally her books had sold a total of 165 million copies. Many of her books have been translated into English by the translator Joan Tate.
In 1976 a scandal arose in Sweden when it was publicised that Lindgren's marginal tax rate had risen to 102 percent. This was to be known as the "Pomperipossa effect", from a story she published in Expressen on 3 March 1976, entitled Pomperipossa in Monismania, attacking the government and its taxation policies. It was a satirical allegory in response to the marginal tax rate Lindgren had incurred in 1976, which required self-employed individuals to pay both regular income tax and employers' deductions. In a stormy tax debate, she attracted criticism from Social Democrats and even from her own colleagues, and responded by raising the issue of the lack of women involved in the Social Democrats' campaign. In that year's general election, the Social Democratic government was voted out for the first time in 44 years, and the Lindgren tax debate was one of several controversies that may have contributed to the result. Another controversy involved Ingmar Bergman's farewell letter to Sweden, after charges had been made against him of tax evasion. Lindgren nevertheless remained a Social Democrat for the rest of her life.
In 1978, when she received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Lindgren made a speech, Never Violence!. She spoke against corporal punishment of children. After that she teamed up with scientists, journalists and politicians to achieve non-violent upbringing. In 1979, a law was introduced in Sweden prohibiting violence against children. Until then there was no such law anywhere in the world.
Lindgren represented in the Villa Villekulla exhibit at Kneippbyn in Visby
In 1967 the publisher Rabén & Sjögren established an annual literary prize, the Astrid Lindgren Prize, to mark her 60th birthday. The prize, 40,000 Swedish kronor, is awarded to a Swedish-language children's writer every year on Lindgren's birthday in November.
On 6 April 2011 Sweden's central bank Sveriges Riksbank announced that Lindgren's portrait will feature on the 20 kronor banknote, beginning in 2014-15. In the run-up to the announcement of the persons who would feature on the new banknotes, Lindgren's name had been the one most often put forward in the public debate.
Asteroid 3204 Lindgren, discovered in 1978 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Chernykh, was named after her. The name of the Swedish microsatelliteAstrid 1, launched on 24 January 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).
Källa Astrid (Astrid's Wellspring) by Berit Lindfeldt
In memory of Astrid Lindgren, a memorial sculpture was created next to her childhood home, named Källa Astrid ("Astrid's Wellspring" in English). It is situated at the spot where Astrid Lindgren first heard fairy tales. The sculpture consists of an artistic representation of a young person's head (1.37 m high), flattened on top, in the corner of a square pond, and, just above the water, a ring of rosehip thorn (with a single rosehip bud attached to it). The sculpture was initially slightly different in design and intended to be part of a fountain set in the city center, but the people of Vimmerby vehemently opposed the idea. Furthermore, Astrid Lindgren 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.
Astrid Lindgren Museum
Astrid Lindgren gravesite
Astrid Lindgren at her typewriter. Statue created by Marie-Louise Ekman, in the city center of Vimmerby.
Lindgren's childhood home is near the statue and open to the public. Just 100 metres (330 ft) from Astrid's Wellspring is a museum in her memory. The author is buried in Vimmerby where the Astrid Lindgren's World theme park is also located. The children's museum Junibacken, in Stockholm, was opened in June 1996 with the main theme of the permanent exhibition being devoted to Astrid Lindgren; at the heart of the museum is a theme train ride through the world of Astrid Lindgren's novels.
This is a chronological list of feature films based on stories by Astrid Lindgren. There are live action films as well as animated features. The most films were made in Sweden, followed by Russia. Some are international coproductions.
^Preisjahr "1956". Database search report. DJLP. Retrieved 5 August 2013. See "Kategorie: Prämie". The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin won the main Children's Book award (Kategorie: Kinderbuch).