Pippi Longstocking and Other Children's Stories by Astrid Lindgren
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Astrid Lindgren – Pippi Longstocking and other Children’s Stories

Astrid Lindgren

This website, Pippisworld.com, is dedicated to Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) and her unforgettable lovely children’s stories.

Astrid Lindgren is best known as the creator of Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump in her native Swedish), but she has been a very prolific child fiction writer of the past century. She has sold close to 150 million copies of her books. Here is a look into her life and her stories.

She was born on 14th November, 1907, with the full name of Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren. Her birthplace was Vimmerby in Småland, Sweden, which was later on the setup for most of her fairytales. Astrid Lindgren grew up with two sisters and a brother, who was a member of the Parliament in the home country. Her fondness for literature goes back to her early childhood, where she was a voracious reader and especially relished reading books where girls were the heroines.

Astrid Lindgren married Sture Lindgren when she moved to Stockholm from native Småland after working for a newspaper there for a brief stint. It was after her marriage that she kick-started her very rewarding writing career. Her first book was in 1944, titled Britt-Mari Opens Her Heart. This was a little-known book that was not received well in her time. She had two children in the meantime, a son named Lars and a daughter named Karin. It was during Karin's illness that she thought up of what would be her most popular character in order to cheer her up. Pippi Longstocking was born, who would be the central character of her second book and then nine more books in the future.

She got her great big success with the first Pippi Longstocking book itself. The writing bug that was already in her now came to the fore. She created several more characters in quick succession. These included Karlsson-on-the-roof, Emil of Lönneberga, Bill Bergson the Detective, Madicken, The Six Bullerby Children, Lotta, Kati, The Tomten and many others. Most of these characters were based on some or the other of her own childhood experience and they were always bittersweet in nature. It was evident in these characters that there was definite pathos somewhere but on the face of it, the stories were always humorous. This is clearly seen in the humor of the characters of Pippi Longstocking, Karlsson-on-the-roof and even the Tomten to an extent.

In addition to her series characters, Astrid Lindgren also wrote some very memorable fairytales. Three of them – Ronia the Robber's Daughter, Mio, My Mio and The Brothers Lionheart – became exceptionally popular and have become memorable pieces of European young literature. These are all dark fantasy tales meant to appeal to an older reader base than the series characters, though people of all ages have read and loved them. The Brothers Lionheart was especially condemned for its dark theme of suicide and death, but commercially it became one of Astrid Lindgren's bestselling titles, with mentions of Nangiyala entering bedtime stories that parents told their children.

For her amazing contribution to literature, Astrid Lindgren was adorned with several awards. She received the Hans Christian Anderson Award in 1958 and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1973 (especially for Pippi Longstocking). Ronia the Robber's Daughter gave her the Mildred Batchelder Award in 1984. She was also the recipient of UNESCO's Book Award in 1993. On January 28th, 2002, this great author of children's and youth literature died quite contently and peacefully in her sleep in Stockholm. She was a ripe 94 years old when she passed on.