Monday, June 7, 2021

Bibliophile's Corner

A World Gone Mad
The Wartime Diaries of 
Astrid Lindgren 1939-1945
by Astrid Lindgren

Flap Copy Description:
Before she became internationally known for her children's books, Astrid Lindgren was an aspiring author living in Stockholm with her family at the outbreak of the Second World War. These diaries, until recently stored in a wicker laundry basket in her Dalagatan home, offer a civilian, a mother, and an aspiring writer's unique account of a world devastated by conflict.
In these diaries Lindgren emerges as a morally courageous critic of violence and war, as well as a deeply sensitive and astute observer of world affairs. She provides insights into the Soviet invasion of Finland and the ambiguities of Swedish neutrality, and asks questions about the nature of evil, and our capacity, as individuals, to stand against such malevolent forces.
Alongside political events, Lindgren includes delightful vignettes of domestic life: shortages of butter, blackouts, dinner menus and children's birthdays, and moving descriptions of her marriage. And these diaries also reveal her emergence as a writer: the bedtime stories she invented for her daughter during this terrible period eventually became Pippi Longstocking - one of the most famous and beloved children's books of the twentieth century.
Posthumously published in Sweden to great acclaim, and now available for the first time in English, illustrated with family photographs, Lindgren's diaries provide an intensely personal and vivid chronicle of Europe at war.

My Thoughts:
Rarely does a book touch me deeply on multiple levels, but A World Gone Mad did exactly that. The WWII diaries of the legendary author Astrid Lindgren, who wrote one of my all-time favorite children's books, was heartbreaking, inspiring, informative, and chilling to read - all at the same time. It was lovely reading her feelings about the little story she wrote for her sickly daughter, Karin, that went on to become an extremely popular children's classic. Ms. Lindgren had no idea it would become what it did. It was simply a way to entertain her young daughter, at least in the beginning. I highly recommend A World Gone Mad to fans of WWII history, children's book history, aspiring authors, and of course, those who have always loved Pippi Longstocking!

Click here to read a brief biography of the legendary Astrid Lindgren.