Posts Tagged ‘mats kempe’

Huge audience listened to Barbro Lindgren in Gothenburg

September 26, 2014
Lots and lots of book signings...

Lots and lots of book signings…

The visitors of the Göteborg Book Fair rallied around for Barbro Lindgren’s program yesterday, all of them were very well attended. The day began with a public conversation at the Swedish Arts Council’s stage with jury member Mats Kempe. Then, the time just flew with a full agenda, lots of book signings and many, many fans wanted to speak with Barbro and show their appreciation.

The obvious question on most scenes was, of course, about if Barbro Lindgren’s life had changed in any way after the announcement of the ALMA. The answer was that now almost everything was back to normal. Almost. Except that more people recognize her. (“I didn´t think I could write for a while. But after a few weeks I was able to get started again.”)

The day ended with a 45 minute-seminar in a crowded Seminar Hall with jury member Maria Lassén-Seger. The conversation was among other things about Barbro Lindgren’s childhood and how it has affected her writing, but also about her ability to speak directly to the child, whether she is offering amusing escapades or more serious reflections.

“I’m not interested in others than the underdogs. Happy childhoods are not for me. ”

Two younger fans asking for autographs.

Two younger fans asking for autographs.

Interview at Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter's stage.

Interview at Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter’s stage.

Preparing for the final seminar with Maria Lassén-Seger.

Preparing for the final seminar with Maria Lassén-Seger.

Maria Lassén-Seger and Barbro Lindgren.

Maria Lassén-Seger and Barbro Lindgren.

Events at House of Culture in Stockholm

May 29, 2014

Yesterday, the fourth day of the award week, Barbro Lindgren had two performances at Kulturhuset (House of Culture) in Stockholm. Photographer Stefan Tell followed her closely and took some brilliant images:

First, Barbro met five school classes (children aged 7 to 11) in Kulturhuset’s Studio.
The Lindgren brothers opened the meeting on stage, and the feeling was more like a rock concert rather than a lesson in literature.


Katti Hoflin, Head of Dunkers Kulturhus, lead the conversation with Barbro, who among other things gave the students a few inside tips if they were planning to become writers. Then the children had prepared questions for her, like Did you really know Astrid Lindgren? Why do you write about death so often? What´s your favorite color? Do you like yourself? How did you become so famous?

During the afternoon Barbro was a guest in the Swedish TV-show “Babel” along with Neil Gaiman (which will be broadcasted on Swedish National TV, SVT2 on Sunday 8:00 pm!).


And then followed a public conversation at Kulturhuset, where Barbro talked to author, librarian and ALMA jury member Mats Kempe. Georg and Sarah Riedel played Barbro Lindgren texts set to music by Georg.





“In hand with Alma”

May 8, 2014

Guestblogger this week is Cilla Nergårdh, marketing manager at Astrid Lindgren’s Näs in Vimmerby:

For over ten years, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award has let us know and be inspired by some of the best authors in the world. For us at Astrid Lindgrens Näs, the place where Astrid Lindgren was born and where her writing begun, it felt like time to lift the prize in a new and challenging way and incorporate the children of Vimmerby in the celebration.

So we came up with the project “Hand in hand with Alma”. It is a project with several goals; to promote children´s reading, to give the prize-winner a chance to meet their Swedish readers and get something back from them, to inspire children to create in their own way, to spread the works of the prize-winner and to involve all of Vimmerby in celebrating the prize.

This year all children at the age of 10-11 years at Astrid Lindgren´s School will read Barbro Lindgren’s works. They will also interpret some of her books in drama and art. Finally they will meet Barbro Lindgren and show her their work and get the chance to ask her all their questions, tell her all their thoughts and hear her talk about her work.

Today we got a visit from the ALMA-jury. Jurymember Mats Kempe met 30 teachers from Astrid Lindgren´s School and introduced Barbro Lindgren´s writing. He talked about “The loving relationship (but oh, so complex)” in Barbro Lindgren´s writing. By reading from different books – he showed in an exciting way how Barbro Lindgren is exploring the relationship between people who are close but also the tension between testing borders and challenging fears and caretaking and responsibility. We all, teachers and parents, laughed in recognition when he said that reading Barbro Lindgren as a grown up is like riding a roller coaster.

Mats Kempe. Photo: Astrid Lindgren's Näs

Mats Kempe. Photo: Astrid Lindgren’s Näs

I have read almost all books by Barbro Lindgren, most of them I have read many times. When my children were small I read them again and experienced them in a new way – not as the child hungry for action, eager to conquer the world – but as a parent who´s responsibility it is to watch over small adventurers. Now I feel I have to read them all a third time as a mother of two teenagers on their way into adult life. I can hardly wait.

Cilla Nergårdh

Photo: Astrid Lindgren's Näs

Photo: Astrid Lindgren’s Näs

Public conversation with Mats Kempe

April 19, 2013

Here´s images from today´s acitivties at LitteraLund; a conversation with writer and ALMA jury member Mats Kempe about the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the effects of the award.



I’m very happy to be here in Lund, the festival gives me a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues from other countries and to discuss common issues. And of cours I’m lookging forward to coming back in May for the award week. By then I hope to have books in Swedish and it will be very interesting for me to see the reaction from Swedish readers. It’s all very exiting!


”A keen sense of curiosity when it comes to new books and authors is what drives me.”

July 4, 2012

Photo: Maria Annas

Mats Kempe, librarian, author and new member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury took the time to answer some questions from the award office during his summer holiday in Sundsvall.

Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Mats Kempe?

I feel a lot like an intermediary. I started out in adult education, first as a student and later as a teacher. I’ve always thought it was great fun to discover new things and then be able to share them, and I’ve enjoyed the intermediary roles I’ve had, such as teacher, librarian, author and critic. A keen sense of curiosity when it comes to new books and authors is what drives me.

You work at Världsbiblioteket, the World Library, and have many years’ experience of reading promoting work in an international context. In what way do you find that books from different countries enrich the reader?

Above all, I think people discover great new literature by broadening their perspective. In my case, for instance, Asian and African literature have provided some of my finest reading experiences in recent years. There are lots of interesting books that don’t get to us in Sweden, or that may have been translated but don’t reach potential readers. I think the book market often focuses a little too hard on domestic and Anglo-Saxon literature, especially when it comes to marketing. As a librarian, I know that readers are curious about literature from all parts of the world. I get the sense that even other European literature easily gets overlooked, and the works that are translated are often not presented in any kind of context, such as an author’s entire oeuvre or an international literary trend. Sometimes it’s just random titles that only stay in bookstores for a short time. In libraries they eventually end up in the depository or are disposed of. Often these are really good books – they’re seldom disappointing. But on the positive side, I get the feeling this situation is changing.

Another good thing is discovering different narrative techniques, different literary traditions and trends, which as an author I find really stimulating. I’m constantly getting new ideas and impulses from world literature.

What makes a book a good book?

A text needs a dynamic of some kind, it has to examine something, write about something beyond what readers already know. For me, the narrator’s tone is important too – the narrator should be someone I enjoy hanging out with while I’m reading the book. Once I’ve found a narrative tone I like, I’ll go on to read all that author’s books – even if not all of them are brilliant. And it becomes a sort of conversation, where it’s more important to follow the author’s writing process than the individual books. So, for me, a good book is a text with a dynamic – an examination that seeks out new literary territory – and with something in the narrative tone that makes me want to keep reading.

What’s also important in children’s and young adult literature is the relationship between text and pictures. When you add pictures, it creates a whole new dynamic in the text. I absolutely love picture books, and I’m always making new discoveries. I’m excited by the idea that adult fiction could include more pictures, just like children’s and young adult fiction.

How do you feel about your new role as a jury member for the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature?

It’s going to be fantastic! The best thing about it is the opportunity to get a broader perspective on world literature. Making new discoveries and sharing them will be so exciting. I’m looking forward to playing my part in choosing new award recipients whose works can become better known around the world. I also hope to help raise the international profile of the award and its recipients.

What will you be reading in your hammock this summer?

Per Nilsson’s Baklängeslivet (“Life Backwards”), but of course I’ll also be browsing through some of the candidates on this year’s nomination list.

More information about Mats Kempe here.