”Ge barnen kärlek, mera kärlek och ännu mera kärlek, så kommer folkvettet av sig själv.”
”Ja, jag tror att livets innersta mening är kärlek. Där kärlek finns, finns inte våld och maktmissbruk och förtryck. Livets mening var nog från början att vi skulle leva i kärlek och harmoni med våra medmänniskor och i harmoni med naturen, den stora förlösande och läkande kraften som vi har fått oss given.”
”När en del tycker att man är stor, och en del tycker att man är liten, så är man kanske alldeles precis lagom gammal.”
”Livet är en sak som man måste vara rädd om, förstår du inte det?”
”Vad som inte är livets mening vet jag. Att samla pengar och prylar och grejer, att leva kändisliv och flina upp sej på damtidningarnas kändissidor, att vara så rädd för ensamhet och tystnad att man aldrig hinner i lugn och ro tänka efter: Vad gör jag med min korta stund på jorden?”
”Och så ska man ju ha några stunder att bara sitta och glo också!”
Astrid Lindgrens liv
Astrid Lindgren grew up in Näs, near Vimmerby, Småland, Sweden, and many of her books are based on her family and childhood memories and landscapes.
Lindgren was the daughter of Samuel August Ericsson (1875–1969) and Hanna Jonsson (1879–1961). She had two sisters, Stina [sv] and Ingegerd [sv], and a brother, Gunnar Ericsson [sv], who eventually became a member of the Swedish parliament.
Upon finishing school, Lindgren took a job with a local newspaper in Vimmerby. She had a relationship with the chief editor, who was married and a father, and who eventually proposed marriage in 1926 after she became pregnant. She declined and moved to the capital city of Stockholm, learning to become a typist and stenographer (she would later write most of her drafts in stenography). In due time, she gave birth to her son, Lars, in Copenhagen and left him in the care of a foster family.
Although poorly paid, she saved whatever she could and traveled as often as possible to Copenhagen to be with Lars, often just over a weekend, spending most of her time on the train back and forth. Eventually, she managed to bring Lars home, leaving him in the care of her parents until she could afford to raise him in Stockholm.
In 1932 she married her employer, Sture Lindgren (1898–1952), who left his wife for her. Three years later, in 1934, Lindgren gave birth to her second child, Karin, who would become a translator. The character Pippi Longstocking was invented to amuse her daughter while she was ill in bed. Lindgren later related that Karin had suddenly said to her, ”Tell me a story about Pippi Longstocking,” and the tale was created in response to that request.
The family moved in 1941 to an apartment on Dalagatan, with a view over Vasaparken, where Lindgren remained until her death on 28 January 2002 at the age of 94, having become blind.
Astrid Lindgren died in her home in central Stockholm. Her funeral took place in the Storkyrkan (Great Church) in Gamla stan. Among those attending were King Carl XVI Gustaf with Queen Silvia and others of the royal family, and Prime Minister Göran Persson. The ceremony was described as ”the closest you can get to a state funeral.”