Archive for the ‘Astrid Lindgren’ Category

“I am overwhelmed and honoured”

April 5, 2016

Meg Rosoff, Laureate of the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award:

“I am overwhelmed and profoundly honoured to be the recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial award for 2016. As a child I modelled myself on Pippi Longstocking – desperate to grow up brave enough to sail the seven seas, strong enough to lift a horse, unconventional enough to live by my own rules.”

Crown Princess Victoria opened the Astrid Lindgren exhibition in Seoul today

March 25, 2015


Joohwi Kang at the Embassy of Sweden in Seoul about the exhibition that opened earlier today:

The Embassy of Sweden in Seoul holds the exhibition of <Astrid Lindgren and Pippi> at the National Library of Children and Young Adults on 26 Mar (Thu)- 31 May (Sun). Co-organized by the National Library of Children and Young Adults, the exhibition is to give insights about the Swedish children’s literature to the Korean children and young adults. The exhibition comprises introduction of the life of Astrid Lindgren, Lindgren’s famous stories, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and previous laureates of Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and Children’s corner to play and read.

Today, the Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden paid a visit to the library to inaugurate the exhibition during her official visit to the Republic of Korea at the invitation by the Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo. Accompanying the Crown Princess Couple is the Swedish Minister for Social Security, Ms Annika Strandhäll and a small delegation of senior officials.

The opening ceremony took place with the existence of Mr PARK Min-kwon (Vice Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism), Mr LIM Won-sun (Chief Executive of the National Library of Korea), Ms YEO Wee-sook (Director General of the National Library for Children and Young Adults), Ms KIM Su-jung, President of Korean Board on Books for Young People (KBBY), Ms BAEK Heena (Children’s book writer and ALMA nominee 2015) and many more VIP guests. The participating guests celebrate the opening and the 70th birthday of Pippi who is well known character among Koreans through TV series.





The world’s strongest girl celebrates her 70th birthday

February 20, 2015


We´re talking about Pippi Longstocking of course. The first book about the world’s strongest girl was published in November 1945, but as it was Astrid Lindgren’s daughter Karin who came up with the idea about Pippi, and received the Pippi manuscript on her birthday on May 21 from her mother, the Pippi celebrations will take place on that specific day.

– She is a 9-year-old child who is totally independent of all adults, because she is stronger than they, and do not need their money, says Karin Nyman in a press release from the Astrid Lindgren company Saltkråkan. It could have made her insufferably smug and contemptuous of others, but instead she became kind, generous and courageous.

Pippilotta Provisionia Gaberdina Dandeliona Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking can look back upon an eventful life. It´s actually a few things she hasn´t been through. She has made millions of children, and some adults, from all over the world laugh and maybe become a bit thrilled, while she has driven some pedagogues, debaters and professors crazy.

She has been transformed into eight feature films, two television series, two television films and at least 800 professional theatre productions. She has given rise to academic theses, has been appointed as the most important cultural case for the last 150 years, and gotten interpreted lengthwise and crosswise from every conceivable perspeictive. But, as Astrid Lindgren herself wrote in her memoirs, “As usual the children didn´t care about what the grownups said, they loved Pippi unreserved.”

The books about Pippi Longstocking have been translated into 70 languages and have sold approximately 60 million copies. Saltkråkan will celebrate the anniversary throughout the year with free materials to libraries, schools and daycare centers.

2011 ALMA Laureate Shaun Tan from Australia visited fairytale house Junibacken in Stockholm during the 2011 Award week. Photo: Stefan Tell

2011 ALMA Laureate Shaun Tan from Australia visited fairytale house Junibacken in Stockholm during the 2011 Award week. Photo: Stefan Tell

2010 ALMA Laureate Kitty Crowhter from Belgium. Photo: Stefan Tell

2010 ALMA Laureate Kitty Crowhter from Belgium. Photo: Stefan Tell

The original.

The original.

Comtemporary issues refleced in the upcoming Astrid Lindgren documentary

December 5, 2014

Bilder höstbroschyr 2014
The Mauritz auditorium at the Film House was well attended when Swedish television aired the upcoming documentary about Astrid Lindgren’s life in a press preview on Thursday afternoon. Three one-hour programs were shown in a row, and members of the Astrid Lindgren family were present to answer questions from the journalists. The documentary makes it clear that there are traces of Astrid’s private life and what was happening in the world during her lifetime, 1907-2002, in her stories.

Behind the documentary is director Kristina Lindström, who previously has made a documentary about the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

– What surprised me the most is the fact that she constantly is so incredibly near the important issues of the time, much of it is eerily up to date today, and furthermore, how strong she was marked by what happened when she was 18 and became pregnant. And as she said: “I had not become a great writer unless this thing with Lasse had happened”, says Kristina Lindström in an interview with Isak Klasson from Swedish Television.

Astrid Lindgren grows up in a religious home in the countryside, becomes pregnant with the already married chief editor of the local newspaper where she works. A scandal. She gives birth to her son Lasse, who get to stay in foster care the first years.

– This is really a women’s history, says Kristina Lindström. In many ways she represents women’s history during a century in Sweden. She became a person that the Swedish people regarded as the image of a precept, showing people how things should be done: “This is to do good, this is to do right”, while she in her own life did things that were not right according to convention.

Kristina Lindström has made thorough research with the help of rich archive material, private photos, films, diaries and correspondence. The so-called war diaries dated back to the Second World War, written by Astrid as a young mother not yet being a world famous author, will be published by Salikon publishing house during 2015.

The documentary about Astrid Lindgren’s life will be screened by Swedish Television on SVT1 December 25, December 28 and January 1st.

Director Kristina Lindström.

Director Kristina Lindström.

Karin Nyman, Astrid Lindgren's daughter.

Karin Nyman, Astrid Lindgren’s daughter.

Johan Palmberg, great grandson of Astrid Lindgren and member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury.

Johan Palmberg, great grandson of Astrid Lindgren and member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury.

Marianne von Baumgarten and Annika Lindgren, granddaugther of Astrid Lindgren.

Marianne von Baumgarten and Annika Lindgren, granddaugther of Astrid Lindgren.

Astrid Lindgren was born 107 years ago today

November 14, 2014
Astrid together with her brother Gunnar in 1909. The Astrid Lindgren collections.

Astrid together with her brother Gunnar in 1909. The Astrid Lindgren Collections.

Astrid Lindgren was born on November 14, 1907 in the Näs homestead near Vimmerby, in the county of Småland. She grew up at Näs, and this is the place where her writing begun and that also inspired to both her stories and the characters in them.

60 years later, on her 60th birthday, publisher Rabén and Sjögren initiated the Astrid Lindgren prize in 1967. It is awarded every year for meritous authorship within the realm of Swedish literature for children and young adults, and will be announced this afternoon.

Ps. Her childhood home can still be visited by the public. Visitor’s centre Astrid Lindgren’s Näs also exhibit the story on Astrid Lindgren’s life along with an extensive public program.

Astrid Lindgrens on the stairs of her childhood home at Näs, Vimmerby.

Astrid Lindgrens on the stairs of her childhood home at Näs, Vimmerby.

Astrid Lindgren’s daughter comments the War Diaries

November 6, 2014
Astrid and her daughter Karin. Photo: Saltkråkan

Astrid and her daughter Karin. Photo: Saltkråkan

Karin Nyman, born 1934, is excited about her mother’s wartime diaries being published next year:

– The diary and the newspaper clippings come from a troubled period in history, but they make a fascinating read! I´m happy that more people will get to read what Astrid wrote and experienced when she was 30 years old.

Over 70 facsimile photos of the diary pages, cut-outs from Swedish newspapers and many previously unpublished family photos from these years are included among with Astrid’s diary entries. The war diaries are being published just the way Astrid wrote them:

Sept. 1939

Oh! War broke out today. Nobody could believe it.

Yesterday afternoon, Elsa Gullander and I were in Vasa Park with the children running and playing around us and we sat there giving Hitler a nice, cosy telling off and agreed that there definitely wasn’t going to be a war – and now today! The Germans bombarded several Polish cities early this morning and are forging their way into Poland from all directions. I have managed to restrain myself from any hoarding until now, but today I laid in a little cocoa, a little tea, a small amount of soap and a few other things.

   There’s a terrible despondency weighing on everything and everyone. The radio churns out news reports all day long. Lots of our men liable for military service are being called up. A ban has been imposed on private motoring. God help our poor planet in the grip of this madness!

7 May 1945

It’s VE Day! The war’s over! The war’s over! THE WAR’S OVER!

At 2.41 p.m. (I think), the capitulation was signed in a little red schoolhouse in Reims / … / by which all German forces in the whole of Europe surrendered. Norway is free now, too. At this very moment, a wild sense of jubilation is spreading across Stockholm. Kungsgatan is ankle deep in layers of paper and everyone’s behaving as if they’ve gone crazy. We sang the Norwegian national anthem at work after the radio broadcast at 3 o’ clock. Sture isn’t in for dinner this evening, but he sent home a bottle of sherry so we could celebrate the peace. Just at the moment they’re playing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ on the radio. I’ve been drinking sherry with Linnea and Lars and feel a bit light-headed. It’s spring and the sun is shining on this blessed day and the war is over. I wouldn’t want to be German. Just think, the war’s over, Hitler’s dead (there are jubilant shouts and cheers on the radio now; Stockholm has completely taken leave of its senses).

 Salikon Publishing House has provided us with the extracts from the book (translation by Sarah Death).

Astrid Lindgren’s wartime diaries will be published in May next year.

Astrid Lindgren’s War Diaries 1939-1945 will be published next year

November 4, 2014
Astrid Lindgren 1942. Photo: Salikon

Astrid Lindgren 1942. Photo: Salikon

Today Salikon Publishing House published the news that Astrid Lindgren’s War Diaries will be published in May, 2015:

May 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. During the entire war, Astrid Lindgren kept diaries where she wrote of everyday life in Stockholm, of the world events and of the actions of the Swedish government. Astrid Lindgren’s war diaries are a very personal account of how dramatic courses of events affect us all – the words bear witness of grief and horror. This is before Astrid Lindgren became a world-famous writer; the first Pippi Longstocking book was published in the same year the war ended, 1945.

Over 70 facsimile photos of the diary pages, cut-outs from Swedish newspapers and many previously unpublished family photos from these years are included among with Astrid’s diary entries. A foreword is written by Kerstin Ekman, renowned Swedish author who knew Astrid Lindgren, and the postscript is by Karin Nyman, Astrid’s daughter. In total, 17 diaries are being published.

Today, Astrid Lindgren is still very much in the spotlight and a recurring point of reference in public debate. Her books are an indispensable part of our cultural heritage and continue to reach new readers all around the world. What many people don’t know is that she was a convinced anti-Nazi at a very early stage and that she all throughout her life fought against war and violence. She was a humanist – a person who thought for herself and stood up for what she believed in, aided by her moral courage, her sense of humour and her love.

In May 2015, Astrid Lindgren’s war diaries are being published, just the way she wrote them. It is a unique document by an ordinary person and also one of the world’s most famous Swedes.

Salikon Publishing House is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Astrid Lindgren Company Saltkråkan. Link to Saltkråkan here.

Astrid Lindgren's diary. Churchill. Photo: National Library of Sweden, Andrea Davis Kronlund

Astrid Lindgren’s diary. Churchill. Photo: National Library of Sweden, Andrea Davis Kronlund

Photo: Salikon

Photo: Salikon

The War Diaries. Photo: Ricard Estay

The War Diaries. Photo: Ricard Estay

“A bit like panning gold.” Lena Törnqvist about the Astrid Lindgren Archives

March 4, 2014
Lena Törnqvist. Photo: Anne Sherman, the National Library of Sweden

Lena Törnqvist. Photo: Anne Scherman, the National Library of Sweden

Lena Törnqvist is a librarian and specialist of Astrid Lindgren’s works. During several years she was responsible for cataloguing the Astrid Lindgren Archives at the National library of Sweden. Today she is retired but is on the board of the Astrid Lindgren Society and was last year appointed dr honoris causa at the Linnaeus University in Växjö. The award office asked Lena to write about the unique Astrid Lindgren archives:

When I was first asked to take on the work of cataloguing Astrid Lindgren’s private archives, donated by the author (and later her estate) to Kungl. biblioteket, The National Library of Sweden, I had no idea the work would fill the rest of my professional career. It took the better part of ten years to get the several hundred boxes, sacks, envelopes and rolls of the archives sorted and catalogued. Sitting in one of the library’s underground  piles of books at a desk earlier belonging to and made by the Nobel laureate Pär Lagerkvist with his own hands, I opened box after box and sack after sack and started the sometimes both tedious and dirty work of trying to bring some order to the material. Letters in one pile, clippings in another and manuscripts in a third etc. Archive work is usually not very glamorous, more a question of patience and persistence. A bit like panning gold. And sometimes you find a gold nugget! A letter from Björn Berg, the illustrator of the Emil-books, wondering what kind of clothes Emil was wearing on Sundays, the letter illustrated with wonderful drawings in colour, or a dusty and dirty plastic folder with the original manuscript to ”The Brothers Lionheart”, or a carbon copy of a long letter to Astrid Lindgren’s Danish translator revealing Lindgren’s linguistic considerations when writing ”Ronia, the robber’s daughter” or a manuscript to a very early text I had never seen before. Those ”gold nuggets” made up for hour after hour of beggers’ letters, or uninspired letters from school classes, all beginning in the same way: ”Our teacher said we have to write to an author …”, or even one or two letters from myself years ago.

Looking back at it, the work felt like putting a giant jig saw puzzle together; some pieces I recognized at once, others filled in gaps in my previous knowledge of the author and her work and some things were completely new. Together all these pieces in the end formed a much more interesting and complex picture of the author and her work than anyone had seen before.

Photo: Anne Sherman

Photo: Anne Scherman

Astrid Lindgren’s private archives fill up more than 140 shelf meters and are the largest private archives in the library – and probably in Sweden. All kinds of documents are included, from letters and drawings from children and adult readers around the globe, business letters, royalty records, press clippings (some 100 000 from the early 1940’s up to 2007), to books from her private library in the summer house. The number of letters have been estimated to ca 75 000 – season and birth day greetings not included. Fourteen sacks of letters arrived to her 90th birthday alone! There are letters from royalty, e.g. an African King, statesmen, colleagues, publishers, translators, researchers, psychologists, entrepreneurs and other professionals but most of all from people all over the world who loved her books. One or two also from those who disliked them. There are letters from Korea, South Africa, Greenland and the Seychelles, and there are letters in Esperanto, short hand and Braille. There are letters the size of a square meter and very tiny letters. There are also about 1000 carbon copies of letters sent by Astrid Lindgren herself.

An essential part of the archives includes close to 600 typed manuscripts to most of her books and movies but also to e.g. speeches, obituaries and early stories from the 1930’s. In addition there are some 660 short hand notebooks (almost impossible to decipher). Astrid Lindgren always wrote in shorthand before she typed her manuscripts.

Lena Törnqvist

The catalogue is available here.

Most of the material is available for study without restrictions, but for letters and short hand notebooks you need a permit from the donor and copyright holder ( All material is under copyright. Inquiries should be mailed to the Manuscript Department of the National Library (

In June 2005 Astrid Lindgren’s archives were included in the Unesco Memory of the World  Register, link here.

”Ronia, The Robbers Daughter” to be animated for television

February 4, 2014
Image: Saltkråkan AB

Image: Saltkråkan AB

Interesting news about Astrid Lindgren’s ”Ronia, The Robbers Daughter” which will be turned into a major animated TV-series shortly. Swedish company Saltkråkan comment the project on their web:

The first episode is set to be broadcasted in Japan this fall. Directed by Goro Miyazaki the series is produced by Studio Ghibli and Polygon Pictures. World wide rights have been granted by Saltkrakan AB. Please understand that, at the present, we can not comment any further on this exciting project. More information will follow during spring 2014.

Christmas Eve at Näs 1913

December 11, 2013
Astrid Lindgren's childhood home at Näs.

Astrid Lindgren’s childhood home at Näs.

Travel a hundred years back in time at Näs in Vimmerby, in the south of Sweden. It was here Astrid Anna Emilia Ericsson was born more than 100 years ago. Her father was tenant farmer at the rectory. Today cultural centre Astrid Lindgren’s Näs start guided tours at her childhood home focusing on how the Ericsson family celebrated Christmas when Astrid was a girl.

Learn more about the family’s Christmas traditions, and to be more exact, to Astrid Lindgren’s strongest Christmas memory dated back to 1913. Smell the aroma of cinnamon and cloves, and listen to Astrid’s father Samuel August reading the Christmas Gospel in a unique recording.

Link to Astrid Lindgren’s Näs here.