Vivi Edström
Rabén & Sjögren Books, 2000

Astrid Lindgren is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of the twentieth century. Her most famous creation, Pippi Longstocking, has been embraced by many generations of children around the world. This important book offers the first complete study of Lindgrens work.

Born in 1907, Lindgren grew up in a small town in the Swedish countryside but left home for Stockholm at eighteen. She made her debut as an author relatively late, at age thirty-seven. Pippi Longstocking (1945) followed a year later. In addition to her amazing productivity – she has written more than thirty-five books – Lindgren worked as the editor in chief of Sweden’s largest children’s book publisher, her own, until 1970.

Lindgren argues Vivi Edström in this perceptive study, is a writer of contradiction, moving between the local and the universal. The grand emotions that carry her stories have their particular right of abode in the children’s world, where life is ”both terrible and wonderful”. As she herself has so simple phrased it, Lindgrens stories tell ”something about the conditions of living and how tricky it can be to be a human being”.