Pippi Longstocking, Emil in Lönneberga, Ronia the robber’s daughter, the Lionheart brothers, the world’s best Karlsson, the Bullerby children, people on Seacrow Island, Madicken, Rasmus and the tramp, Bill Bergson… Her books have been translated from Swedish into almost 100 other languages, and a total of around 150 million copies have been sold. Best known of all her characters is Pippi Longstocking, the strongest girl in the world: books featuring her have been published in 70 languages.
Lars Bengtsson, born in 1943, is a retired dentist and has been collecting Astrid Lindgren’s writings since 1989. He has also been a member of the Astrid Lindgren Association since it began in the autumn of 2002. Why collect Astrid Lindgren, in particular? Initially it was a coincidence. Both Lars and his wife Katharina grew up in homes where there were a lot of books. Thus, it was natural for them to visit antique shops and book stores.
Lena Törnqvist, librarian and literature expert, is born and bred in Stockholm. After more than 30 years at Svenska Barnboksinstitutet (the Swedish Children’s Book Institute) I got the opportunity of focusing entirely on Astrid Lindgren’s authorship and spent the best part of ten years cataloguing her archives in the Royal Library. In the meantime I also fitted in a couple of Astrid Lindgren assignments in Vimmerby, as project leader for Astrid Lindgren-gården (closed down in 2006) and for Astrid Lindgren’s Näs in Vimmerby’s old Parsonage, amongst other things.
Sara Schwardt was born in 1958. When the Ljungcrantz family (Sara’s maiden name) eventually moves to Ulricehamn, life is not so easy for Sara, who feels that she has the wrong dialect, wrong hair, wrong name…In the spring of 1971, Sara is 12 years old and has two desires in life, to run away and to get a film role. Through the magazine, Kamratposten Sara finds Astrid Lindgren’s address, thinking that Astrid would perhaps be able to organise a part for her in a film.