Astrid Lindgren was born on 14 November in Vimmerby and spent her childhood on her parents' farm near Vimmerby. Her parents Samuel August and Hannah Ericsson raised four children there. Astrid Lindgren trained as a stenographer and secretary in Stockholm. In 1926 she gave birth to her first child, Lars. As long as the young mother was attending school and unable to look after her child, she placed the baby with a foster family in Copenhagen. In 1928, Astrid Lindgren was employed by the Royal Automobile Club, where she met Sture Lindgren. A few years later, they got married. Astrid Lindgren left her job and took care of Lars. In 1934 her second child, Karin, was born. She got into the habit of telling stories to her daughter, who had pneumonia. Astrid Lindgren herself was confined to bed for a week, so she decided to write down the adventures she told her daughter. For the child's tenth birthday, the mother decided to collect and publish the stories told since 1941. Thus, in 1945, Pippi Långstrump (Fifi Longstocking) was published. Although the book was rejected by a major publisher and was initially coldly received by critics and educational circles, it was immediately a great success with children: translated into more than sixty languages, Fifi's adventures were often made into films.
Many children's books followed. They not only tell of adventures, but are also about good and evil and friendship.
Astrid Lindgren received the Nils Holgersson Prize in 1950 and the alternative Nobel Prize in 1994 (for children's rights). Since 1967, the Astrid Lindgren Prize has been awarded annually to a Swedish author of children's literature.
In 2002, following the author's death at the age of 94, the Swedish government decided to create a second prize in her name: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. It is the world's largest literary prize in monetary terms for children's and young people's literature.