Sweden’s most famous author Astrid Ericsson was born in 1907 in a small place called Smaland near Vimmerby. When she grew up, she went to Stockholm, where she spent most of her productive years. At school her essays got her accolades and her first book was published in 1944.
After her initial book, she introduced Pippi Longstocking, a character which was immensely popular. She wrote a series of books featuring Pippi and also introduced other characters (each with their own series) in her books for children, who were her main audience. Unlike conventional rules prevailing at that time, Pippi is a strong, individualistic character, leading an adventurous life. In fact, Astrid’s books had a universal appeal, cutting across borders and countries.
She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen medal in 1958 for her work in children’s literature. Her stories were so popular that they were translated into 55 languages and some 40 of her works were adapted for television or films.
Her Other Achievements
Astrid was married to Sture Lindgren and had a son and daughter with him. Earlier she had a son, but did not married to his father as she wanted other things for herself. In fact the character of Pippi was visualised in response to her daughter’s request for a story when she was sick.
Astrid won the second prize for her novel, Britt-Marie unburdens her heart, in 1944 in a competition by the publishing house Rabén & Sjögren, which published her books. The following year she got the first prize for her first Pippi Longstocking book in the same competition. A few years later, in 1956, she received the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.
There were many awards instituted in her honour like the Astrid Lindgren prize given by Rabén & Sjögren for the best Swedish language children’s author. After her death in 2002, the government started the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children’s and youth literature. Her original manuscripts are on Unesco’s World Heritage List. The Swedish government has also said that her likeness will feature on 20 kronor notes issued in 2014-2015.