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date: 18 September 2019


The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature

Daniel Hahn

LINDGREN, Astrid (1907–2002) 

Author of Pippi Longstocking who was born in Vimmerby, Sweden. Her first children’s book was Britt-Mari lättar sitt hjarta (‘Britt-Mari finds herself’) (1944). She established her reputation with Pippi Longstocking (Swedish title: Pippi Langstrump, 1945), and between 1945 and 1970 she wrote well over fifty more books, including ‘Pippi’ sequels, picture books, and plays and film scripts. After the ‘Pippi’ stories one of her most famous works is the Karlsson on the Roof trilogy.

Ronia, the Robber's Daughter (1981) is a novel about two feuding robber clans, who live in two halves of the same castle (split in half by a lightning-bolt), and a girl called Ronia who by befriending a boy from the rival gang manages through great adventures to bring them together. The English translation (1983) is by Patricia Crampton.

Though Astrid Lindgren’s most distinguished work is in fantasy, she has also written books in other genres, for example a ‘Kati’ series (1950 onwards) about a girl’s adventures around the world, and stories about ‘Blomkvist’, a boy detective (1946 onwards, translated into English as ‘Bill Bergson’). Most of her books have appeared in a large number of languages.