Lindgren, Astrid

Lindgren, Astrid
© Jacob Forsell
Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren is born on 14th November 1907 at the parsonage in Näs, Vimmerby, second child to Samuel August and Hanna Ericsson. After graduating from high school in Vimmerby she works as a volonteer at Vimmerby tidning a few years. At first she writes notices and reviews, does proofreading and answers the telephone. After only a short time she is also entrusted with the task of providing journalistic articles for the paper. In 1926 she moves to Stockholm, where she works as a secretary. In 1933 Astrid Lindgren´s first children’s stories are published in Stockholms-Tidningen and in Landsbygdens Jul. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Astrid begins to write a “War Diary”. She works as secretary to Harry Söderman, Associate Professor in Criminology at Stockholm University, and learns a great deal about encryption, finger-printing and criminal technology. Her parents-in-law purchase the house in Furusund, which is to become Astrid Lindgren’s summer residence for the rest of her life. This is where she wrote many of her books and film-scripts. Astrid is offered a top secret job at the Special Intelligence Agency in the mailcensorship office which gives her deep insight into the afflictions of war in the world.
In 1944 the publishing firm Rabén & Sjögren runs a competition for authors of books for girls. Astrid makes her debut as author by winning 2nd Prize with Britt-Mari lättar sitt hjärta. She wins 1st Prize in the Rabén & Sjögren competition, Best Book for 6-10 year olds with a reworked manuscript for Pippi Longstocking. The book is released and becomes a great success with 20,000 copies sold in two weeks. In the autumn of 1946, Astrid Lindgren is employed as Publishing Editor with Rabén & Sjögren but keeps writing her own books as well, one after another.
In 1957 Astrid Lindgren begins her collaboration with the director Olle Hellbom, in the making of the third Bill Bergson film. They made a total of 17 films together. In 1963 Seacrow Island is written as a TV series (before it becomes a book). The first book about Emil in Lönneberga is published. Pippi Longstocking becomes a TV series in 1969, which turns into a great success. Astrid Lindgren retires from Rabén & Sjögren in 1970. In 1981 the theme-park, Astrid Lindgren’s World, is founded in Vimmerby, under the name “Sagobyn” (Fairytale Village). Astrid’s last book is published in 1993, the picture-book Jullov är ett bra påhitt, sa Madicken. After a period of illness, Astrid Lindgren passes away on 28th January 2002 at her home in Dalagatan, Stockholm.
Astrid Lindgren receives several awards, among others the H. C. Andersen Medal, often called the “Nobel Prize for Children’s Literature”, the Swedish Academy’s Grand Gold Medal and the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels, the German Booksellers’ Peace Prize in 1978.