FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about Astrid Lindgren and her authorship. Should you wish to include some question of your own, you are welcome to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
How many books has Astrid Lindgren written?
That question is not as easy to answer as you might think – it depends on what and how you count. There are 34 original books and 41 picture-books.
She has also written innumerable scripts for TV, theatre, radio theatre and film. These have given rise to the need for songs and music, and Astrid has written more than 40 song texts.
Then, there are the many books and writings by others which contain selected Astrid Lindgren texts:
• “Original Pippi” – the original manuscript rejected by Bonniers in 1944
• 15 picture books including text from previously published chapter-books (as of 2009)
• Three collections of plays (several of which have also been published in booklet form)
• A booklet containing her speech, Never Violence
• A thought-provoking book about the treatment of domestic animals, Min ko vill ha roligt (“My cow wants to have fun”), which Astrid wrote in collaboration with the veterinary, Kristina Forslund
• A book about the County of Småland, Mitt Småland, in collaboration with Margareta Strömstedt
• An essay on her authorship, Det gränslösaste äventyret (The Boundless Adventure), edited by Lena Törnqvist
• A book of essays about two people’s destinies, Liv kan vara så olika (Our two lives can be so different)
• Five song-books, one of which also includes a story about Pippi Longstocking
• Tour Guides for the Royal Swedish Automobile Club (KAK)
• A whole string of novels and stories that have been published in various magazines and papers
Besides all the above, there are texts by Astrid Lindgren included in many collections of her works, not to mention the countless anthologies and textbooks where her writings may be found in amongst other authors’ texts.
How many of Astrid Lindgren’s books have been sold?
It’s impossible to give an exact figure, but the official estimate is in the vicinity of 150 million copies worldwide.
Which of Astrid Lindgren’s books is the most popular?
The books about Pippi Longstocking are the most popular of all. In Germany, for example, they represent a quarter of all Astrid Lindgren sales. The Pippi books have been translated into 70 languages and have been sold in around 60 million copies.
When did Astrid Lindgren start writing?
At school, Astrid was already good at writing. In an exercise book from 2nd grade, there is a composition about a man and a bear, for which Astrid was awarded AB (mark: Very Good). Later on, her compositions were read out in front of the class, and at the age of 13 Astrid had her composition, På vår gård (On our Property) published by Wimmerby Tidning (the Vimmerby Times). According to the editor of the paper, her composition was “a sample of stylistic flair seldom seen among our youth”.
In the autumn of 1924 she began as a voluntary worker at Wimmerby Tidning where she was given the task of writing small notices and articles. The subject of one of the articles was the opening of the new railway line between Vimmerby and Ydrefors. In that paper she also had published a series of travelogue articles – one of which is the account of her visit with the author Ellen Key at her property, “Strand” on the shores of Lake Vättern.
From 1933-1944 (the year of her debut as a novelist) Astrid Lindgren also had many fairytales published in various magazines, including Mors hyllning (A Tribute to Mother) and Landsbygdens Jul (A Country Christmas). One of the pieces is about Olle and the aggressive dog, Svipp – a story which turns up again in the Bullerby books.
What was the title of Astrid Lindgren’s debut book?
Britt-Mari lättar sitt hjärta (Confidences of Britt-Mari) – a teenage novel. It was published in 1944 after having won 2nd Prize in Rabén & Sjögren’s girls’ book competition in September that same year.
What day is Pippi Longstocking’s birthday?
Astrid Lindgren’s daughter Karin, who was the one who came up with the name of Pippi Longstocking, celebrates her birthday on the 21st of May, and it was on her tenth birthday that she received the story about Pippi from her mother. This is why we feel that this is the day to celebrate Pippi’s birthday as well. The typed out manuscript came in a nice folder with Astrid’s own drawing of Pippi on the front page. The proper book was published with illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman on the 26th of November 1945 so, if you want to, you can celebrate some on that day too!
Which was Astrid Lindgren’s last book?
The very last book Astrid Lindgren created is a picture-book called Jullov är ett bra påhitt, sa Madicken (The Christmas holidays are a great invention, said Mardie) – 1993. Her last big story is Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter (1981).
Is there an Astrid Lindgren museum?
There is no Astrid Lindgren museum as such, but at the cultural centre, “Astrid Lindgrens Näs” in Vimmerby, there is a large, permanent exhibition about Astrid’s life and authorship. That is where you will also find her childhood home, which is still intact and open for guided tours, as well as a research library, etc.
It is also possible to take a virtual walk in Astrid´s apartment on Dalagan 46in Stockholm. This is the apartment to which Astrid and her family moved in 1941 and where she lived all her life. The apartment is kept entirely intact but is not open to the public for visits, except in this way.
How many children did Astrid Lindgren have?
She had two children – her son, Lasse (1926-1986) and her daughter, Karin (born 1934).
Is it true that an asteroid has been named after Astrid Lindgren?
Yes. In 1988, the USSR Academy of Sciences named asteroid #3204 after Astrid Lindgren. Astrid is said to have exclaimed: “Well, from now on you’ll have to call me Asteroid Lindgren.” The asteroid was discovered by the Russian astronomer, Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh on 1st September, 1978.
The asteroid is not, however, Astrid Lindgren’s only connection with astronomy. “Astrid-1” is the name of the first Swedish micro-satellite sent up from Russia in 1995, with instruments named after characters in Astrid Lindgren´s books.
But that’s not all. In 2006, the Swedish astronomer, Marie Rådbo persuaded the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to name a crater on Venus after Astrid Lindgren (craters on Venus are often named after historical women or goddesses).
Into how many languages have Astrid Lindgren’s books been translated?
No other Swedish author has had their books translated into as many languages as Astrid Lindgren. But it is difficult to be precise as to how many, partly because of how one differentiates between languages, dialects and language variants.
Counting the total number of translations of Astrid Lindgren’s texts into other languages or language variants, there are as many as 97 different translations (2015).
12. Cakavian (Croatian dialect)
14. Chinese (Simplified)
15. Chinese (Traditional)
17. Cymraeg (Welsh)
20. Dutch and Flemish
21. Elfdalian (a dialect of Northern Dalarna)
22. English – UK
23. English – US
36. Hill Mari
42. Irish (Gaelic)
47. Kildin Sami (a Sami language)
49. Kurmanji (a Kurdish language)
54. Lule-Saamic (one of the languages of the Sami people)
57. Meänkieli (a northern Finnish dialect)
58. Modern Greek
62. Mooring-Frisian (northern dialect)
64. New Norwegian
65. North Saamic
69. Plattdeutsch (Low German),
71. Portuguese (both Brazilian and Portuguese)
77. Seselwa (Seychelles Creole)
82. Sorani (a Kurdish language)