Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren has written dozens of books for children in her life. It was she who invented Carlson, Pippi Longstocking and Kalle Blomkvist - these characters are still familiar to many. Even during the life of the writer, scientists from Russia named an asteroid in her honor. And in our time, her portrait can be seen even in money - on a banknote of 20 Swedish kronor.
Early years and a failed romance with Bloomberg
Astrid Ericsson (she took the last name Lindgren much later) was born on November 14, 1907 in the provincial Swedish town of Vimmerby, in the family of a farmer. Astrid herself more than once recalled that the atmosphere of love and understanding that reigned in their house influenced her perception of the world. Parents have always treated each other and their four children with great warmth (that is, Astrid also had a brother Gunnar and two younger sisters - Stina and Ingegerd).
Astrid studied diligently at school, and most of all she liked the lessons in literature. Once in the local newspaper even published her essay, which the girl was very proud of. Immediately after graduating from school, Astrid began to try herself in journalism.
And then events took place in her life, because of which she had to leave Vimmerby. Astrid and local magazine editor Axel Bloomberg had a brief romance, which resulted in the eighteen-year-old girl becoming pregnant. But Axel was married to another and did not want anyone to find out about the betrayal. On the other hand, the birth of an illegitimate child would have generated a lot of unwanted gossip among the residents of Vimmerby about Astrid. Therefore, the girl left - first to Copenhagen, and then to Stockholm. And after the due date, a boy was born, whom the future writer named Lars.
The beginning of a literary career
The new life in the big city was full of difficulties. Tired of disorder and poverty, Astrid made a difficult decision for herself - she gave her newborn son to another family.
In 1928, a lonely and not too happy girl got a job as a secretary at the Royal Automobile Club. At this job, she met her future husband, Nils Lindgren (formally, he was her boss). Their wedding took place in 1931, and only after that Astrid got the opportunity to take her son Lars away from his adoptive parents. And in May 1934, Astrid and Niels had a daughter, Karin.
At some point, Astrid decided to become a housewife and devote herself to children. Once (this was in 1941), little Karin became very ill. To cheer her up, Lindgren began to talk about the adventures of the red-haired girl Peppy. Soon the typed story about Pippi Lindgren gave to the Bonnier Publishing House. The specialists of this publishing house thought the manuscript was too unusual and bold, they did not publish it.
But Astrid didn't give up. In 1944, she submitted a novel for teenage girls, Britt-Marie Pouring Out Her Soul, to a literary competition. This story took second place in the competition, and Astrid received a long-awaited contract with the publisher and a fee. And the book about Pippi Longstocking was published a year later - in 1945.
From 1945 to 1955, Astrid Lindgren created her fascinating books with enviable regularity. Moreover, these books were of different genres - collections of children's fairy tales, plays, stories, picture books … And about the red-haired Pippi during this period, two more stories were written and published - Swedish (and not only Swedish) children fell in love with the restless heroine too much.
It is worth remembering another trilogy created by Lindgren in the first decade after the war. This is a trilogy about the amazing detective Kalle Blomkvist. The first book about him was published in 1946. In 1951, readers were able to read the second part of Kalle's adventures, and in 1953 the final story was published - under the title "Kalle Blomkvist and Rasmus".The writer has thus shown in practice that even detective literature can be warm and kind.
In 1955, a wonderful book by Lindgren appeared in bookstores about the fatty flying Carlson and the Little Boy, a boy from an ordinary Swedish family, whom busy parents simply cannot reach. The book was a huge success, comparable to the success of the Pippi books. The readers, of course, were eager for more, and Lindgren went to meet them. In 1962, the second story about a little man with a motor behind his back was published, and six years later - the third. In the USSR, books about Carlson and Malysh (their translations into Russian were made by Liliana Lungina) were incredibly popular. Based on the first book, a cartoon was even filmed, which is still sometimes shown on television.
Even when the writer became famous, she remained modest in everyday life and always enjoyed communicating with her small and large readers. For many decades, Astrid Lingred lived in an apartment in Stockholm, located at 46 Dalagatan. She moved into this apartment with her husband in the 1940s, during the war. Here the writer died in January 2002 - she was 94 at that time.