Happy Birthday, Astrid Lindgren!
Published: November 14, 2017
Glad födelsedag, Astrid Lindgren! Happy birthday, Astrid Lindgren!
Astrid Lindgren is Sweden’s most widely-sold author and the creator of, among other characters, Pippi Longstocking and the Brothers Lionheart. Her books depict children as full-fledged human beings with agency, even to an exaggerated extent, and her care for children shone in her public activism, as well. Thanks to Lindgren, Sweden became the first country to adopt a law against hitting children, in 1979.
In addition to being a children’s book author, Astrid Lindgren was a one-woman public opinion shaper. She spoke out about a tax loophole that would have cost her more than she earned, and her opinion piece toppled the long-ruling Social Democratic government. She championed animal rights and wound up with an animal welfare law as an eightieth birthday present. Those who favored joining the EU feared that Lindgren would be able to swing the vote against membership, although in the end Sweden did join the union.
Though champions of women’s rights look more frequently to Pippi than to Lindgren for inspiration, those who do study the author’s biography will find much to inspire them.