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Astrid Lindgren
1907-2002
Astrid Lindgren. Expressionism. Lindgren's signature.
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Astrid Lindgren was born Astrid Ericsson on November 14, 1907 on a farm called Nass outside the small town Vimmerby in Sweden. As a child, Astrid loved to read, particularly books which had girls as the heroine; among her favourites were Anne of Green Gables and the Pollyanna books. 

One of her strongest recollections as a child was meeting two pilots, Captains Sonders & Madicken. One of them tried to land on the roof of her house -- at least that was the way it looked to her at that time. :-)  

After attending public school, she moved to Stockholm and married Sture Lindgren.

Astrid Lindgren. Expressionism. Literature. Photograph.

Sweden 1969. Expressionism. Literature. Pippi Longstocking.

The Lindgren family had two children. She wrote her first story, "Britt-Mari Opens Her Heart" in 1944. Her second book, "Pippi Longstocking", which she wrote as a present for her daughter's tenth birthday, was published in 1945. She received the Raben & Sjogren's Best Children's Book prize for Pippi. Her husband Sture died in 1952. A number of stamps featuring her books have been issued over the years; here are a few examples. 
  • Sweden 1969.  SG 599.  Pippi Longstocking, and her dotted white horse "Lilla Gubban" ("Little Friend"), also known as "Fendth". The pet monkey (in the lower right corner), is "Nilsson".  The stamp is engraved by Czeslaw Slania. 
Switzerland 1984. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking. Sweden 1i987. Expressionism. Booklet Pane of discount stamps, depicting figures from 10 of Astrid Lindgren's books. Russia 1992. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Figures from "Karlsson on the Roof".

Below are some nice postmarks dedicated to Pippi Longstocking. 

Sweden 1987. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Special cancel 1st May 1987 in Vimmerby. Sweden 1987. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Special postmark 11th September 1987.

Note that the below stamps are perforated on three sides only, depending on their position in the original pane, see pane above. 

Sweden 1987. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Special postmark. Karlsson on the Roof and Emil from Lönneberga.

Sweden 1987. Expessionism. Astrid Lindgren. Close-up of Karlsson on the Roof.

Sweden 1987. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Close-up of Emil from Lönneberga.

Lindgren was never awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature; apparently her books were not "intellectual enough" for the Nobel Committee! In spite of this she received many other awards for her work, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1958; the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for Pippi Longstocking in 1973; and the International Book Award from UNESCO in 1993.  Her publisher, Viking Press, received the Mildred Batchelder Award for her book, "Ronia, the Robber's Daughter", in 1984.  She received other recognition including honorary doctorates from universities.  Her favorite character, Pippi Longstocking, has been the star of movies as well.  Columbia Pictures made the movie, "New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking in 1988".  In 1996 she was honoured by the Swedish Post Office with her portrait on the stamp top left.

Ever since Pippi first appeared on the scene in 1945, a true Pippi-fever has haunted the world, and she has appeared, not only on stamps, but also on special postmarks and meter-stamps. 

In Slovenia Pippi is called Pika, and Slovenia has made two special postmarks for Pika's Day (Pippi Longstocking Day), 

  • 12th October 1991, cancelled in Velenje
  • 9th October 1993, also cancelled in Velenje 

Slovenia 1991. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Special postmark.

Slovenia 1993. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Special postmark.

A similar postmark was issued in 2002 for the Pippi Festival in Velenje. 

Slovenia 2002. Pippi Longstocking. Front side of a postcard from the Pippi Festival in 2002. Slovenia 2002. Pippi Longstocking. Back side of a postcard from the Pippi Festival in 2002, postmarked 28-09-2002 in Velenje.

Slovenia 2002. Postal Stationery with an illustration of Pippi and a prepaid printed stamp, which is the same as the above postmark.

The first German translation of Pippi Longstocking was published in 1949. In 2001, a stamp featuring Pippi was finally issued. On 1st July 2001 there was a "Weekend of the Pirates" in the FEZ Wuhlheide in Berlin. The below postcard, dedicated to Pippi was issued with a special postmark only used on 1st July 2001.

Germany 2001. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Postcard depicting Pippi Longstocking.

Germany 2001. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking.

Germany 2001. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Close-up of postmark. Germany 2000. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Meter Cancel.

Shortly after Astrid Lindgren's death in January 2002, the Swedish Post Office decided to issue a souvenir sheet, commemorating her and her books. The commemorative issue went on sale on 5th March 2002, and features Astrid Lindgren in the middle, surrounded by some of her most famous figures:

Pippi Longstocking, Karlsson on the Roof, The Brothers Lionheart, Emil in the Soup Tureen, Lotta on Troublemaker Street, and The Madick (named after the pilot that attempted to land on the roof of her house!) 

Sweden 2002. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. Souvenir sheet commemorating Astrid Lindgren. Sweden 2002. Expressionism. Astrid Lindgren. First Day Cover commemmorating Astrid Lindgren.

Sweden 1996. Expressionism. Literature. Astrid Lindgren.

Astrid Lindgren died peacefully in her home in Stockholm on 28th January 2002, at the age of 94.  The memorial service took place in Stockholm on 8th March 2002, in the presence of the Royal Swedish Family. 

The adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Emil, Lotta and all their friends have inspired children throughout the world for all sorts of fun and games, and we will all miss Astrid Lindgren for her wonderful imagination and narrative talents. Astrid Lindgren has been for Sweden, what H.C. Andersen was for Denmark. 

  • Sweden 1996.  SG 1867.  Astrid Lindgren. 

Astrid Lindgren's tale Pippi Longstocking has been translated to many languages. A selection of these are available through Wikipedia. 

If you do not find the title of Pippi Longstocking in your language in the below listing, please send me the relevant information by email (use the link at the bottom of the page), and I will add it to the list. 
 
  • Afrikaans (Dutch) 
    Pippie Langkous
  • Bulgarian
    Pippi Dalgoto corapce 
  • Czech 
    Pipi Dlouhá Punčocha
  • Chinese
    Changwazi Pipi 
  • Croatian
    Pipi Dugacarapa 
  • Danish 
    Pippi Langstrřmpe 
  • Estonian 
    Pipi Pikksukk 
  • French 
    Eifi Brindacier 
  • German 
    Pippi Langstrumpf
  • Greek
    Pipi Phakidomyte  
  • Icelandic 
    Lina Langsokkur 
  • Italian 
    Pippi Calzelunghe 
  • Israeli 
    Gilgi 
  • Hungarian
    Harisnyas Pippi 
  • Indonesian 
    Pippi sikans panjang 
  • Japanese 
    Nagakutsushita no Pippi 
  • Korean
    Malkwallyangi Pippi 
  • Macedonian
    Pipi Dolgiot Corap 
  • Maltese 
    Pippi Kalzetti Twal 
  • The Netherlands (Dutch) 
    Pipi Langkous 
  • Polish 
    Fizia Ponczoszanka  
  • Portuguese
    Bibi Meia-Longa 
  • Russian
    Peppi Dlinnyčulok 
  • Slovenian
    Pika Nogavicka 
  • Spanish 
    Pippa Calsazlargas 
  • Suomi (Finnish) 
    Peppi Pitkätossu 
  • Swedish 
    Pippi Langstrumpa 
  • Turkish 
    Uzunçorap 
  • Ukrainian 
    Peppi Povhapancocha 
  • Welch 
    Pippi Hosan-Hir

Lindgren has had a revolutionary impact on children's fiction in Scandinavia. Rejecting the restrictive, moralizing conventions of the mid-20th century, she wrote for children from their perspective and confronts issues as far ranging as tragedy, violence, pain, and even death.

Sources and links: 

Other Expressionist artists on this site: 
 

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