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by Bamber Gascoigne

Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002)

Famous Swedish writer of children's books, who renewed children's literature. Astrid Lindgren's best-known characters are independent, energetic, and unconventional, such as the untidy Pippi Longstocking, the noisy Nyman kids, and Emil, the master of pranks. Appealing to the little anarchist living inside every small child, Lindgren broke the tradition of Elsa Beskow, whose characters behave well and they do their best to live up to their parents' expectations.

"My papa is a cannibal king; it certainly isn't every child who has such a stylish papa," Pippi used to say with satisfaction. And as soon as my papa has build himself a boat he will come and get me, and I'll be a cannibal princess. Heigh-ho, won't that be exciting?" (from Pippi Longstocking, 1945)

Astrid Lindgren was born Astrid Anna Emilia Ericsson in Vimmerby, where she grew up on a farm. Astrid was the second of four children of Samuel August, a tenant farmer, and Hanna Jonsson Ericsson. Her parents gave much freedom to their children. A natural part of their upbringing was storytelling; they were encouraged to enter the world of literature and use their imagination.

From 1924 to 1926 Lindgren worked as a reporter at the local newspaper, Wimmerby Tidning – her first text had appeared in the paper in 1921. Lindgren also participated in services at the Salvation Army compound, where she met her friends and sang hymns. This carefree period of her life ended at the age of 18. To the shock of his family, she became pregnant following an affair with Reinhold Blomberg (1877-1947), the editor-in-chief of the Wimmerby Tidning. Blomberg was married but in the middle of getting a divorce.

Forced to give up her work, Lindgren left home and moved to Stockholm, where she became an office employeer. In Copenhagen she gave birth to her son, Lars, who was given to a foster home. The separation from her son was difficult for Lindgren. Eventually her parents took Lars to Vimmerby. It is noteworthy that in her stories, there are many lonely boys, from Rasmus and  Karlsson-on-the-Roof to Mio. 

Lindgren worked in an office at the Royal Automobile Club. In 1931 she married Sture Lindgren, her office manager. Between the years 1946 and 1970 Lindgren was a children's book editor at Rabén & Sjogren. Lindgren's husband Sture died in 1952 and her son Lars in 1986.

During World War II Sweden managed to remain neutral. In 1940 Lindgren worked at the Swedish intelligence service (Allmänna säkerhetstjänstens postkontrollanstalt), censoring letters; she called it "dirty work". In 1941 she moved to Dalagatan 26, her home in Stockholm for the following decades. Lindgren recorded in her wartime diaries events from the German invasion of Poland, September 1939, and the Soviet invasion of Finland, November 1939, to the surrender of Japan, August 1945. The diaries contain also a number of press cuttings  from Swedish newspapers. "National Socialism and Bolshevism are like two dinosaurs fighting each other," she wrote on June 28, 1941. Occasionally Lindgren cites letters she had read at work. A Danish Jew, who had escaped to Sweden, tells about Gestapo torture and 80 year old women, who were pushed into a cargo hold, so that the fall would kill them. The letter writer also mentions that Jewish girls as young as 11 were sent to brothels in Germany (October, 24, 1943). On New Year's Eve 1945, Lindgren summarizes that the atom bomb casts a shadow over the peace, but she is looking forward to the year of 1946.

As her children grew up, Lindgren told them stories that she had heard in her own childhood. At the age of 37, she began to write down the Pippi tales. Her daughter, Karin, made the name up. In full it is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim's Daughter Longstocking. Pippi is a red-headed, athletic, and orphan. She is so strong that she can heft horses. Pippi is also untidy, wears mismatching stockings, and she loves her freedom. Her mother Pippi lost at an early age. Her father, a sea captain, was blown overboard in a storm and disappeared. Pippi believes that he is a South Sea cannibal king on an island, "and went around with a golden crown on his head all day long."

The first Pippi adventure, Pippi Långstrump (1945), published by Raben & Sjogren, was followed by Pippi Goes on Board (1946) and Pippi in the South Seas (1948). The anarchistic protagonist was condemned by some authorities in the heated discussion as a bad example of permissive upbringing. "She had no mother and no father," wrote Lindgren, "and that was of course very nice because there was no one to tell her to go to bed just when she was having the most fun, and no one who could make her take cod liver oil when she much preferred caramel candy."

An attack against Pippi was launched in 1946 by the critic and professor in pedagogics, Johan Landquist, who questioned the author's moral,  argued that Pippi represented the warped abnormal, and metally ill, and dismissed the work "sinnessjuk fantasi." Decades later a Swedish physician criticized Pippi's behaviour towards adults. In her articles from 1939 and 1949, Lindgren defended the right of children to be treated like human beings without being oppressed: if the children are given love, good behavior will look after itself. "I don't consciously try to influence the children who read my books," Lindgren said. "All I dare hope for is that they may contribute a little bit towards a humane and democratic view of the world in the children who read them." In Pippi in the South Seas (1948) the young heroine journeys with her friends Tommy and Annika to the legendary Kurrekurredutt Island, where she has to choose between fantastic adventures and the safety of Villa Villekulla.

"Min mamma är en ängel och min pappa är en negerkung, det är minsann inte alla barn, som har så fina föräldrar, brukade Pippi säja så förnöjd. Och när min pappa bara får bygga sej en båt, så kommer han och hämtar mej, och då blir jag en negerprinsessa. Hej hopp, vad det ska bli livat!" (from Boken om Pippi Långstrump, 1978)

Pippi Longstocking differed radically from the familiar literary tradition, represented in Johanna Spyri's classic Heidi series or L.M. Montgomery's stories of orphan Anne. The carrot-haired Pippi is more related to Heinrich Hoffmann's Slovenly Peter (Der Struwwelpeter) or Wilhelm Busch's anarchistic rascals Max and Moritz. Pippi is both mentally and physically strong. Her pets are not cats or dogs or goats, as in the case of Heidi, but a horse and a monkey, called Mr. Nilsson – her primitive doppelganger in Jungian sense? The nine-year-old Pippi lives alone, fullfilling very child's dream of freedom and adventure. Jørgen Gaare & Øystein Sjaastad have argued in Pippi og Sokrates (2000), that Lindgren works are first and foremostly about taboos – she interpreters and breaks them. They have also found in Pippi's thinking and character connections with the philosophy of Socrates, Nietzsche, and feminist theoreticians, especially Simone de Beauvoir. Pippi, like all children, asks philosophically fundamental questions – what is knowledge, what is courage, what is friendship etc. Lindgren read widely, from Defoe's Robinson Crusoe to Robert Frost's Collected Poems,  from biographies and memories to Edgar Allan Poe's tales.

Following the longstanding tradition of Swedish children's books, Lindgren often depicted closely knit communities and peaceful pastoral environments, but she also challenged conventional codes of children's literature. Her novel The Brothers Lionheart brought up the taboo of the death and the doctrine of reincarnation. The hero, Jonathan Lejonhjärta is a  pacifist, whose story is told by his little brother, Karl Lejon; they meet in the afterlife. Noteworthy, the theme of death was not not new in Lindgren's work: Pippi's mother is dead, and she refuses to believe that her father has drowned. (She questions the reality and is right.). Mio, min Mio, a classical story of good and evil, is colored by suggestive, flexible rhythm, derived from such sources as the Bible, the folk tales, and the lyric poetry. Both of these books were illustrated by Ilon Wikland. Lindgren and Wikland became friends in the 1950s, when Lindgren worked for Rabén & Sjögren. Other illustrators have been Ingrid Wang Nyman, who drew Peppi Longstocking, Eva Billow, and Björn Berg, who drew Emil books.

Lindgren's young detective, Kalle Blomqvist (Bill Bergson), made his appearance in 1946, and the Bullerby children next year. In 1963 Lindgren created another popular character, Emil, a five-year-old boy, whose adventures started in Emil in Lönneberga. The energetic Nyman kids, Jonas, Maria, and Lotta were introduced in The Children on Troublemaker Street (1958): "Daddy says that befotre there were any children in the house, everything was peace and quiet. The noise started the minute Jonas was big enough to bang his rattle against the edge of the crib."

Ronja Robber's Daughter entered in Lindgren's fiction in the 1980s, and launched a more modern variation of Pippi Långstocking. When Pippi is a real "father's daughter", the relationship between Ronja and Matt is more problematic. She admires her father although he is week and she turns out to be strong. Ronja lives with the robbers in a castle which was split in two on the night of her birth. When she becomes older, she finds from the forbidden part another human being, Birk, the son of her father's greatest rival. Rebelling against her father, she starts to live with Birk. They run away and make their home in a cave in the depths of a forest, experiencing the beauty and harshness of the nature. "They stood silently, listening to the twittering and rushing and buzzing and singing and murmuring in their woods. There was life in every tree and watercourse and every green thicket; the bright song of spring rang out everywhere."

From the 1940s Lindgren had voted the Social Democrats, and in the 1960s she opposed the Vietnam war. In the 1970s her critical opinions about the ruling Social democratic government were hailed by the right-wing parties. Lindgren's adult fairy tale, 'Pomperipossa in the World of Money,' which was published in the newspaper Expressen in 1976, attacked unjust taxation. She had counted that her income was taxed at an annual rate of 102 percent. In the late 1970s the laws were made more reasonable – but not before the famous film director Ingmar Bergman was arrested and charged with income-tax fraud, and had suffered a nervous breakdown. Lindgren also influenced the acceptance of another law, which insured farm animals freedom from cramped conditions. "Every pig is entitled to a happy pig life," Lindgren said in an open letter to Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson. The law, known as Lex Astrid, was passed in 1988.

Mitt Småland, Lindgren's memoirs, came out in 1987. She was voted in 1999 the most popular Swede of the century. Lindgren died at the age of 94 peacefully in her home, in Stockholm, on January 28, 2002. She published over 100 books, which sold tens of millions of copies. Lindgren never taught herself to use a computer; she drafted the text in longhand, and then typed it out on a manual typewriter (Facit Privat).

Her stories have inspired many television and screen adaptations, among others Luffaren och Rasmus (1955), not so stylish Pippi Långstrump i Söderhavet / Pippi in the South Seas (1974), Bröderna Lejonhjärta (1977), and lively Ronja Rövardotter (1983). Between 1945 and 1965, thirteen of about thirty Swedish children's films were based on stories by Lindgren. She also scripted many of the productions. Pippi, played by Inger Nilsson, has appeared in four Swedish films in 1969-71, and in an English-language movie, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), starring Tami Erin. Eskil Dalenius, a popular child star, played different characters in several films. Lasse Hallström's Noisy Village films (The Children of Noisy Village, 1986; More about the Children of Noisy Village, 1987) drew heavily from the aesthetics of the painter Carl Larsson.

For further reading: Historien om et "påhit" by Ellen Buttenschøn (1975); En bok om Astrid Lindgren, ed. by Mary Ørvik (1977); Astrid Lindgren: En levnadsteckning by Margareta Strömstedt (1977); Århundradets barn: Fenomenet Pippi Långstrump och dess förutsättningar by Lena Kåreland (1979); Duvdrottningen, ed. by Mary Ørvig & Marianne Eriksson (1987); The Fantastic in World Literature and the Arts, ed. by Donald E. Morse (1987); Astrid Lindgren by Vivi Edström (1987); Läs om Astrid Lindgren by Kerstin Llunggren (1992); Astrid Lindgren - Vildtoring och lägereld by Vivi Edström (1992); Contemporary World Writers, ed. by Tracy Chevalier (1993); Astrid Lindgren by Eva-Maria Metcalf (1995); Röster om Astrid Lindgren (1996); Bild och text i Astrid Lindgrens värld, ed. by Helene Ehriander & Birger Hedén (1997); Astrid Lindgren och folkdikten, ed. by Per Gustavsson (1994); Astrid från Vimmersby by Lena Törnqvist (1998); Pippi og Sokrates by Jørgen Gaare & Øystein Sjaastad (2000); Allrakäraste Astrid: en vänbok till Astrid Lindgren, ed. by Susanna Hellsing, Birgitta Westin et al. (2001); Rebellen från Vimmerby: Om Astrid Lindgren och hemstaden by Jens Fellke, Helena Egerlid et al. (2002); Från snickerboa till Villa Villekulla: Astrid Lindgrens filmvärld by Petter Karlsson & Johan Erséus (2004); Astrids äventyr: innan hon blev Astrid Lindgren by Christina Björk, Eva Eriksson (2007); Astrid Lindgrens världar i Vimmerby: en studie om kulturarv och samhällsutveckling, ed. Leif Jonsson (2010); Astrid Lindgren i Stockholm by Anna-Karin Johansson (2012); Denna dagen, ett liv: En biografi över Astrid Lindgren by Jens Andersen (2014); Alla älskar vi Astrid: brev, intervjuer och minnen by Per-Ola Björklund (2021); Nationalism in Swedish Children's Film and the Case of Astrid Lindgren by Anders Wilhelm Åberg (2022)

Selected bibliography:

  • 5 automobilturer i Sverige, 1939 (published by Motormännens riksförbund)
    - 25 Automobile Tours in Sweden (tr. 1939) 
  • Britt-Mari lättar sitt hjärta, 1944 (illustrated by Ingrid Nyman)
    - Riitta-Maija keventää sydäntään (suom. Sorella Soveri, 1947)
  • Huvudsaken är att man är frisk: Kriminalkomedi, 1945 
  • Pippi Långstrump, 1945 (illustrated by Ingrid Nyman)
    - Pippi Longstocking (tr. Florence Lamborn, 1950; Tiina Nunnally, 2007)
    - Peppi Pitkätossu (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1946; Kristiina Rikman, 2007)
  • Kerstin och jag, 1945
    - Kerstin ja minä (suom. Heliä Kaarina Salminen, 1949)
  • Pippi Långstrumps liv och leverne: teaterpjäs för barn, 1946
  • Mästerdetektiven Blomkvist, 1946
    - Bill Bergson, Master Detective (tr. Herbert Antoine, 1946)
    - Yksityisetsivä Kalle Blomqvist (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1948)
  • Alla vi barn i Bullerbyn, 1946
    - The Six Bullerby Children (tr. Emely Ramsden, 1963)
    - Melukylän lapset (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1950)
  • Pippi Långstrump går ombord, 1946
    - Pippi  Goes on Board (UK title: Pippi Boes Abroad; tr. 1957; Florence Lamborn, 1977)
    - Peppi aikoo merille (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1947)
  • Känner du Pippi Långstrump?, 1947
    - Do You Know Pippi Longstocking? (tr. Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard, 1999)
    - Tunnetko Peppi Pitkätossun? (suom. Vappu Vainio, 1961)
  • Jag vill inte gå och lägga mej, 1947 (illustrated by Birgitta Nordenskjöld)
    - I Don't Want to Go to Bed (tr. Barbara Lucas, 1996)
    - Minä en tahdo nukkumaan! (suom. Irmeli Järnefelt, 1988)
  • Pippi Långstrump i Söderhavet, 1948 (illustrated by Ingrid Vang-Nyman)
    - Pippi in the South Seas (translated by Gerry Bothmer, 1959)
    - Peppi Pitkätossu Etelämerellä (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1949)
  • Nils Karlsson Pyssling, 1949
    - Pekka Peukaloinen (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1951)
  • 25 bilturer i Sverige, 1949
  • Mera om oss barn i Bullerbyn, 1949 (illustrated by Ingrid Vang Nyman)
    - Melukylässä tapahtuu (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1952)
  • Kati i Amerika, 1950
    - Kati in America (tr. 1964)
    - Kati Amerikassa (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1953)
  • Kajsa Kavat och andra barn, 1950
  • Sex pjäser för barn och ungdom, 1950
  • Jag vill också gå i skolan, 1951
    - I Want to Go to School Too (tr. Barbara Lucas, 1951)
    - Minäkin tahdon kouluun (suom. Riita Mäyrälä, 1980)
  • Mästerdetektiven Blomkvist lever farligt, 1951
    - Bill Bergson Lives Dangerously (tr. Herbert Antoine, 1954)
    - Kalle mestarietsivä (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1953)
  • Boken om Pippi Långstrump, 1952
  • Bara roligt i Bullerbyn, 1952
    - Happy Times in Noisy Village (translated by Florence Lamborn, 1963)
    - Kyllä meillä oli hauskaa (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1961)
  • Kati på Kaptensgatan, 1952
    - Kati in Italy (tr. 1961)
    - Kati Italiassa (suom. Laura Voipio, 2003)
  • Kalle Blomkvist och Rasmus, 1953
    - Bill Bergson and the White Rose Rescue (tr. Florence Lamborn, 1967)
    - Ryöstetty Rasmus ja mestarietsivä Kalle Blomqvist (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1954)
  • Kati i Paris, 1953
    - Kati in Paris (tr. 1961)
    - Kati Pariisissa (suom. Laura Voipio, 2003)
  • Jag vill också ha ett syskon, 1954 (illustrated by Ilon Wikland)
    - I Want a Brother or Sister (US title; translated by Barbara Lucas, 1978) / That's My Baby (UK title; 1979)  
    - Minäkin haluan siskon (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1979)
  • Mio, min Mio, 1955
    - Mio, My Son (translated by Marianne Turner, 1956)
    - Mio, poikani Mio (suom. Kristiina Kivivuori, 1955)
  • Lillebror och Karlsson på taket, 1955
    - Karlsson on the Roof (tr.  Patricia Crampton, 1957) / Karlsson-on-the-Roof (tr. Marianne Turner, 1971)
    - Pikkuveli ja Katto-Kassinen (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1956)
  • Eva möter Noriko-San, 1956 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - Noriko-San: Girl of Japan (tr. 1958)
  • Rasmus på luffen, 1956
    - Rasmus and the Vagabond (translated by Gerry Bothmer, 1960) / Rasmus and the Tramp (UK title; 1961)
    - Rasmus ja kulkuri (suom. Hannes Korpi-Anttila, 1956)
  • Nils Karlsson-Pyssling flyttar in, 1956
    - Simon Small Moves In (tr. 1965)
    - Nisse Naskali muuttaa kaupunkiin (suom. Marjatta Kurenniemi, 1958)
  • Korea, ofredens land, 1956 (photos. Anna Riwkin-Brick)
  • Barnen på Bråkmakargatan, 1958
    - The Children on Troublemaker Street (translated by Gerry Bothmer, 1964) / The Mischievous Martens (UK title, 1978)
    - Lotta, Janne ja Minnamanna (suom. Eila Kivikkaho, 1964)
  • Rasmus, Pontus och Toker, 1957
    - Rasmus, Pontus ja Höpö (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1958)
  • Kajsa Kavat hjälper mormor, 1958 (illustrated by Ilon Wikland)
    - Brenda Breve Helps Grandmother (tr. 1950) / Brenda Helps Grandmother (tr. 1966)
    - Taina Tomera auttaa mummia (suom. Marja Makkonen, 1963)
  • Sia bor på Kilimandjaro, 1958 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - Sia Lives on Kilimanjaro (tr. 1959)
  • Pjäser för barn och ungdom, 1959
  • Sunnanäng, 1959
    - The Red Bird (US title; tr. Patricia Crampton, 2005)
    - Päivärinne (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 2003)
  • Mina svenska kusiner, 1959 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - My Swedish Cousins (tr. 1959)
  • Lilibet, cirkusbarn, 1960 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - Lilibet, Circus Child (tr. 1961)
  • Sötast in världen, 1960 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
  • Madicken, 1960
    - Mischievous Meg (translated by Gerry Bothmer, 1958) / Madicken (US title, 1962)  
    - Marikki (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1962)
  • The tomten, 1961 (based on Viktor Rydberg's poem)
    - Kotitonttu (suom. Helena Anhava, 1961)
  • Jul i stallet, 1961
    - Christmas in the Stable (tr. 1962)
    - Tallin joulu (suom. Kristiina Rikman, 1979)
  • Bullerbyboken, 1961
    - The Children of Noisy Village (tr. Florence Lamborn, 1962; other titles: Cherry Time at Bullerby / Happy Times in Noisy Village / Happy Days at Bullerby)
  • Lotta på Bråkmakargatan, 1961
    -  Lotta Leaves Home (UK title, 1969) / Lotta on Troublemaker Street (tr. Gerry Bothmer, 1991)
    - Se pikkuinen Lotta (suom. Eila Kivikkaho, 1962)
  • Karlsson på taket flyger igen, 1962
    - Karlsson Flies Again (tr. 1977)
    - Katto-Kassinen lentää jälleen (suom. Kristiina Rikman, 1975)
  • Christmas in the Stable, 1962 (pictures by Harald Wiberg) 
  • Marko bor i Jugoslavien, 1962 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - Marko Lives in Yugoslavia (tr. 1963)
  • Emil i Lönneberga, 1963
    - Emil in the Soup Tureen (tr. Lilian Seaton, 1989) / Emil's Pranks (US title; 1989)  
    - Vaahteramäen Eemeli (suom. Aila Meriluoto, 1970)
  • Jul i Bullerbyn, 1963
    - Christmas in Noisy Village (tr. Florence Lamborn, 1964) / Christamas at Bullerby (tr. 1971)
    - Mellukylän joulu (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1964)
  • Jackie bor i Holland, 1963 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - Dirk Lives in Holland (tr. 1963)
  • Vi på Saltkråkan, 1964
    - Seacrow Island (tr. Evelyn Ramsden, 1964)
    - Saariston lapset (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1965)
  • Vår i Bullerbyn, 1965
    - Springtime in Noisy Village (tr. 1966) / Springtime in Bullerby (UK title; 1980)
    - Melukylän kevät (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1973)
  • Randi bor i Norge, 1965 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - Randi Lives in Norway (tr. 1965) / Gerda Lives in Norway (tr. 1965)
  • Barnens Dag i Bullerbyn, 1966
    - A Day at Bullerby (tr. 1967)
    - Lasten päivä Melukylässä (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1966)
  • Noy bor i Thailand, 1966 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
  • Nya hyss av Emil i Lönneberga, 1966
    - Emil's Pranks (tr. 1989)
    - Eemelin uudet metkut (suom. Aila Meriluoto, 1971)
  • The Fox and the Tomten, 1966 (adapted by Astrid Lindgren from a poem by Karl-Erik Forsslund; illustr. by Harald Wiberg)
  • Skrållan och sjörövarna, 1967
    - Skrållan and the Pirates (tr. Albert Read and Christine Sapieha, 1969)
    - Saariston lapset merirosvoina (suom. Kirsi Kunnas, 1968)
  • Karlsson på taket smyger igen, 1968
    - The World's Best Karlson (tr. Patricia Crampton, 1980)
  • Matti bor i Finland, 1968 (photograps by Anna Riwkin-Brick)
    - Matti Lives in Finland (tr. 1969)
    - Matti ja kesä (suom. Kyllikki Villa, 1969)
  • Pippi flyttar in, 1969 (with Ingrid Vang Nyman)
    - Peppi tulee (suom. 1970)
  • Pippi ordnar allt, 1969 (with Ingrid Vang Nyman)
    - Peppi järjestää (suom. 1970)
  • Pippi håller kalas, 1970
    - Peppi pitää kutsut (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1971)
  • Än lever Emil i Lönneberga, 1970
    - Emil and Piggy Beast (tr. Michael Heron, 1973) / Emil and His Clever Pig (UK title, 1974)  
    - Eläköön Eemeli (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1971)
  • All about the Bullerby Children, 1970 ( illustrated by Ilon Wikland; translated by Evelyn Ramsden and Florence Lamborn)
  • Visst kan Lotta cykla, 1971
    - Of Course Polly Can Ride a Bike (tr. 1972) / Lotta's Bike (tr. 1973)
    - Osaa Lottakin ajaa (suom. Kaija Pakkanen, 1974)
  • På rymmen med Pippi Långstrump, 1971 (photographs by Bo-Erik Gyberg)
    - Pippi on the Run (tr. 1976)
    - Peppi Pitkätossu karkuteillä (suom. L. Aro, 1972)
  • Pippi vill inte bli stor, 1971
  • Mina påhitt, 1971
  • Den där Emil, 1972
    - Se Eemeli, se Eemeli (suom. Aila Meriluoto, 1973)
  • Allrakäraste syster, 1973
    - Most Beloved Sister (translated by Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard, 2002)
    - Kultasiskoni (suom. L. Aho, 1974)
  • Samuel August från Sevedstorp och Hanna i Hult, 1973
  • Bröderna Lejonhjärta, 1973
    - The Brothers Lionheart (tr. Joan Tate, 1976) - Veljeni Leijonamieli (suom. Kaarina Helakisa, 1974)
  • När Emil skulle dra ut Linas tand, 1976
    - Emil and the Bad Tooth (tr. 1977)
    - Eemeli ja Liinan poskihammas (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1976)
  • Madicken och Junibackens Pims, 1977
    - Mardie to the Rescue (translated by Patricia Crampton, 1981)
    - Marikki ja Kesäkummun Tuikku (suom. Kristiina Rikman, 1977)
  • Visst kan Lotta nästan allting, 1977
    - Of Course Polly Can Do Almost Anything (tr. 1977) / Lotta's Christmas Surprise (tr. 1990)
    - Lotta osaa mitä vain (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1978)
  • En bunt visor för Pippi, Emil och andra, 1978 (music by Georg Riedel, Ulf Björlin, Jan Johansson)  
  • Boken om Pippi Långstrump, 1978
    - Minä olen Peppi Pitkätossu (suom. Laila Järvinen, 2005)
  • Pippi Långstrump har julgransplundring, 1979
    - Pippi Longstocking’s After-Christmas Party (translated by Stephen Keeler, 1999)
  • Sagorna: en samlingsvolym, 1980
    - Satuja (suom. L. Aro et al.)
  • Ronja Rövardotter, 1981
    - Ronia, the Robber's Daughter (translated by Patricia Crampton, 1983)
    - Ronja - ryövärintytär (suom. Tuula Taanila, 1981)
  • Från Pippi till Ronja: valda skrifter, 1982 (5 vols.)
  • Småländsk tjurfäktare, och andra berättelser, 1982
  • Allas vår Madicken, 1983
  • Titta, Madicken, det snöar!, 1983
    - The Runaway Sleigh Ride (tr. 1984)
    - Marikki, katso, lunta sataa (suom. Riitta Mäyrälä, 1983)
  • När lilla Ida skulle göra hyss, 1984
    - Emil's Little Sister (translated by David Scott, 1985)
  • Spelar min lind, sjunger min näktergal, 1984
    - My Nightingale is Singing (translated by Patricia Crampton, 1986)
    - Soittaako lehmus, laulaako satakieli? (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1984)
  • Emils hyss nr 325, 1985
    - Emil's Sticky Problem (tr. David and Judy Scott, 1986)
    - Eemelin metku n:o 325 (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1986)
  • När lilla Ida skulle göra hyss, 1984 (illustrated by Björn Berg)
    - Eemeli ja pikku Iidan metku (suomentanut Kerttu Piskonen, 1985)
  • Allt om Karlsson på taket, 1985
  • Draken med de röda ögonen, 1985
    - The Dragon with Red Eyes (tr. Patricia Crampton, 1987)
    - Punasilmäinen lohikäärme (suom, Irmeli Järnefelt, 1986)
  • Skinn Skerping, Hemskast av alla spöken i Småland, 1986
    - The Ghost of Skinny Jack (tr. Y. Hooker, 1987)
    - Hirmu-Niilo, Smoolannin kamalin kummitus (suom. Irmeli Järnefelt, 1987)
  • Inget knussel, sa Emil i Lönneberga, 1986
    - Eemeli ei kitsastele (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1986)
  • Assar Bubbla eller Det var nära ögat att det inte blev någon bok om Pippi Långstrump, 1987 (illustrated by Marika Delin)
    - Kompa Kamppinen eli Olipa vähällä jäädä kirja Peppi Pitkätossusta kokonaan tulematta (suom. Irmeli Järnefelt, 1988)
  • Mitt Småland, 1987 (with Margareta Strömstedt, Jan-Hugo Norman; illustrated by Björn Berg)
    - Lapsuuteni Smoolanti (suom. Anja-Liisa Vartiainen, 1988)
  • Ida och Emil i Lönneberga, 1989
    - Eemeli ja pikku Iida (suomentanut Kerttu Piskonen, 1990)
  • När Bäckhultarn for till stan, 1989
    - Itaran isännän markkinamatka (suom. Irmeli Järnefelt, 1989)
  • Visst är Lotta en glad unge, 1990
    - Lotta's Easter Surprise (tr. Barbara Lucas, 1991)
    - Lotta on iloinen (suom. Sanna Jaatinen, 1990)
  • Min ko vill ha roligt: inhopp i djurskyddsdebatten - hur och varför det blev som det blev, 1990
  • När Adam Engelbrekt blev tvärarg, 1991
    - Kalle, Smoolannin sankari (suomentanut Irmeli Järnefelt, 1§992)
  • När Lisabet pillade in en ärta i näsan, 1991
    - Liisan hassu hernetemppu (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1993)
  • Hujedamej och andra visor av Astrid Lindgren, 1991
  • God Jul i Stugan, 1992
  • Jullov är ett bra påhitt, sa Madicken, 1993
    - Marikin joululoma (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1994)
  • Lottas komihågbok, 1993
  • I skymningslandet, 1994
    - Hämäränmaassa (suom. Laila Järvinen, 1995)
  • Emil med paltsmeten, 1995
    - Eemelin sadas puu-ukko (suom. Kerttu Piskonen, 1995)
  • Emil och soppskålen, 1997
    - Eemeli ja keittokulho (suom. Aila Meriluoto, 1997)
  • Pippi Långstrump i Humlegården, 2000
    - Pippi Longstocking in the Park (tr. 2001)
    - Peppi Pitkätossu kaupungin hulinassa (suom. Päivö Taubert, 2000)
  • Mirabell, 2002
    - Mirabell (translated by Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard, 2003)
    - Kastehelmi (suom. Laila Järvinen, 2003)
  • Alla mina barn, 2002
    - Kaikki minun lapseni (suom. L. Aro et al.)
  • Ur-Pippi: originalmanus, 2007 (ed. Ulla Lundqvist)
  • Krigsdagböcker 1939-1945, 2015 (edited by Kerstin Ekman and Karin Nyman)
    - War Diaries: 1939-1945 (translated by Sarah Death, 2016)
    - Sotapäiväkirjat 1939-1945 (suom. Kari Koski, 2016)
  • The Fearless Little Farm Boy, 2022 (original title: Kalle, den lille tjurfäktaren; illustrated by Marit Törnqvist; translated by Polly Lawson

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