Astrid Lindgren

(1994, Sweden)
Honorary Award

...for her unique authorship dedicated to the rights of children and respect for their individuality.

About

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.

Contact Details

Saltkråkan AB
Stockholmsvägen 33, 3 tr
181 33 Lidingö
SWEDEN

Website

Biography

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.

Speeches

Acceptance Speech by Astrid Lindgren

December 9th, 1994

English translation below

Här står jag och vet inte hur jag ska kunna tacka för den fina utmärkelse som jag har fått och som jag inte riktigt kan inse att jag förtjänat. Om det bara gällde att tänka på allt man ville göra för all världens olyckliga barn, då är jag väl meriterad till detta pris. För en stor del av mitt liv går åt till att tänka och tänka och tänka på alla dom små barna-liven, som liksom ropar på hjälp över hela världen. Man börjar dagen och man slutar dagen på samma sätt, med att fundera på vad man skulle kunna göra och innerligt önska att man hade någon möjlighet att göra det. Men det blir just inte mer än gråt av det hela. Om bara tårar kunde hjälpa så skulle jag kunna gråta ihop väldigt mycket till The Right Livelihood Stiftelsen.

Dagligen får jag brev från hela världen, en del glada och del väldigt sorgliga. Men många skriver till mej och talar om att mina böcker har varit till hjälp och tröst för dom i svåra situationer. En gång när jag befann mig i en folksamling kom det fram en för mej okänd kvinna som stack till mej en lapp där hon hade skrivit upp vad hon skulle köpa in till middagsmat samma dag. Och så stod det tvärsöver papperet: "Tack för att du för-gyllde en dyster barndom." Då känner man sej lite gladare och tänker att om jag har förgyllt en enda sorglig barndom så har jag ändå uträttat nånting i mitt liv.

Jag frambär mitt varmaste tack till the Right Livelihood Stiftelsen.

English translation

I stand here without knowing how to give thanks for this honourable award that I have received and that I cannot really see that I have deserved. If it was only about thinking what one would want to do for all the unhappy children of the world, then I am well qualified for this prize. Because a large part of my life is devoted to thinking and thinking and thinking of all those small children's lives that are screaming for help all over the world. One starts the day and one ends the day in a similar manner, thinking about what one could do and sincerely wishing that one had some possibility to act. But weeping is most often the only result of it all. If tears could help, then I would cry a lot for the benefit of the Right Livelihood Foundation.

Every day I receive letters from all the corners of the world, some happy and some very sad. But many write to tell that my books have been of great help and support to them in difficult times. One time I was in a crowd of people and an, for me, unknown woman passed me a note where it was put down what she would buy for dinner that day. And across that note she had written: "Thank you for adding a silver lining to my gloomy childhood." Then one feels slightly happier and thinks that if I have given one single gloomy childhood a silver lining then I have done something with my life after all.

I direct my warmest thanks to the Right Livelihood Foundation.

Contact

Right Livelihood Award Foundation

Head office:
Stockholmsvägen 23
122 62 Enskede
Sweden

Phone: +46 (0)8 70 20 340
Fax: +46 (0)8 70 20 338

Geneva office:
Maison de la Paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Building 5
1202 Geneva
Switzerland

Phone: +41 (0)22 555 09 55

E-mail: