For some time now I've wanted to feature a post about this iconic and enormously inspirational children's author. Like so many children, I grew up reading Pippi Longstocking books, and loved them. However, it wasn't until I was an adult - and learned of Ms. Lindgren's personal life - that I became a true fan not only of her work, but of her life. Since tomorrow marks her birthday, today is a good time for this post.
When I began to seriously research Astrid Lindgren's life, I quickly discovered a wonderful website dedicated to everything about the author. So much so, that any attempt on my part to honor her would pale in comparison. Therefore, I'll just tell you why she's been so inspirational to me. (That website's link is at the bottom of this post.)
As I mentioned above, Astrid (Ericcson) Lindgren was born on November 14, 1907, on a farm in Nas, near Vimmerby, Sweden.
|Astrid Lindgren's childhood home.|
The Ericcson family home is still intact and is open for guided tours year-round.The Lindgren family recently announced that Astrid's Stockholm apartment (where she wrote Pippi Longstocking) will also be open to the public - as a museum - beginning tomorrow. Click here.
After Astrid Lindgren graduated from school she found employment at a newspaper in Vimmerby. She was in a relationship with the editor, and then became pregnant in 1926. Although the man proposed marriage, Ms. Lindgren declined. She moved to Stockholm, became a typist and a stenographer, and soon thereafter gave birth to a son - Lars - in Copenhagen, Denmark, leaving him in the care of a foster family. She continued to work in Stockholm, and although she made very little money, spent most of her weekends traveling to Copenhagen to see her son. Eventually she was able to bring Lars home to live with her in Stockholm. She married Sture Lindgren in 1931 and three years later had a daughter - Karin. Like so many authors before her, Ms. Lindgren made up a story for her daughter when the child was sick - that story was Pippi Longstocking. The book went on to be translated into sixty languages, and is still a popular classic today. Astrid Lindgren wrote numerous other books, essays, and magazine articles. She also received many prestigious literary awards during her lifetime.
Astrid Lindgren was well known both for her support for children's and animal rights and for her opposition to corporal punishment. In 1994, she received the Right Livelihood Award, "...For her commitment to justice, non-violence and understanding of minorities as well as her love and caring for nature."
Throughout her life Astrid Lindgren strove to make good decisions, even when it was difficult to do so...and would require a sacrifice on her part. I think that's what I admire most about the amazing woman. Before her death on January 28, 2002 she was nearly blind.
(Click here for the link I promised to the website on Astrid Lindgren.)
A childhood without books - that would be no childhood at all. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy. ~ Astrid Lindgren