Astrid Lindgren is Sweden's best-known author. Her books, especially her children's books, are known and loved around the world. Pippi Longstocking, one of the most loved, has been translated into 60 languages. It has sold well over five million copies in the United States alone.
Astrid Lindgren was born in 1907 on a farm in the province of Småland in southern Sweden, but she spent all her adult life in Stockholm, a factor that was of great importance for her writing. She went to Stockholm as an 18-year-old and married in 1931. It was for her daughter Karin, born in 1934, that her character Pippi Longstocking was created in 1941.
Lindgren received numerous awards, beginning with second prize in Rabén and Sjögren's competition in 1944, for her book The Confidences of Britt-Mari, which launched her literary career. Later awards include the Nils Holgersson Plaque (1950), the Hans Christian Andersen Award (1958), the Swedish Academy's Gold Medal (1971) and the prestigious German 'Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels' (1978).
As one of Sweden's best-loved citizens, Lindgren had considerable public influence, which she, however, used sparingly. A story in 1976 about high tax rates reducing its hero to beggary is sometimes credited with the downfall of the Swedish government in that year and tax cuts thereafter. Later, her ongoing concern with animal welfare was instrumental in passing a new law in 1988 controlling factory farming, which put Sweden among the most progressive countries on this issue.
Lindgren's personal warmth, idealism, sense of fun and sheer humanity was legendary. "We should be particularly pleased that it is Astrid Lindgren who represents the Swedish spirit for the rest of the world. She speaks out on behalf of the living life against violence and petrifaction." (The Swedish Institute).
For generations of children all over the world, the books of Astrid Lindgren have expressed a world of loving relationships and soaring spirits of empowerment and freedom, as well as closeness to nature. The following selection from Lindgren's works has been drawn from an appreciation of her literary achievements published by the Swedish Institute.
Bibliography with Swedish titles and year of publication:
- Pippi Longstocking / Pippi Långstrump, 1945
- Bill Bergson, Master Detective / Mästerdetektive Blomkvist, 1946
- The Six Bullerby Children / Alla vi barn i Bullerbyn, 1947
- Nils Karlsson-Pyssling or Simon Small / Nils Karlsson-Pyssling, 1949
- Mio, My Son / Mio min Mio, 1954
- Rasmus and the Vagabond / Rasmus på luffen, 1956
- The Children on Troublemaker Street / Barnen på Bråkmakargatan, 1958
- Madicken or Mardie's Adventures / Madicken, 1960
- Seacrow Island / Vi på Saltkråkan, 1964
- Emil's Pranks or Emil Gets Into Mischief / Nya hyss av Emil i Lönneberga, 1966
- The Brothers Lionheart / Bröderna Lejonhjärta, 1973
- Ronia, the Robber's Daughter / Ronja Rövardotter, 1981
In addition there is a large number of picture books, plays, songbooks and feature films, of which some are based on these books.