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Astrid Lindgren, c.1960


"There is very little you can beat into a child, but no limit to what you can hug out of it."

—Astrid Lindgren

Swedish author of children's books, 1907-2002. Her books have been translated into 85 languages, published in more than a hundred countries and sold more than 145 million copies. She has written dozens of books; some of the most famous ones are Pippi Longstocking, Mio, my Mio (pronounced Mee-o), and Karlsson on the Roof. They verge from the relatively mundane (The Children of Noisy Village) to children's detective stories (the Bill Bergson series) to straight-out fantasy (Ronia the Robber's Daughter, The Brothers Lionheart) A good chunk of her books have been turned into movies or TV-series, and Ronia the Robber's Daughter was turned into an anime by Studio Ghibli. (Most of the movies are edited from TV-footage though.)

She has an asteroid named for her; on learning this, she commented that henceforth they could call her "Asteroid Lindgren". She also did narrated readings of many of her books for Swedish television and radio.

She was Sweden's very own Dear Grandmother.

Astrid Lindgren provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Action Girl: Any girl protagonist of Lindgren has a good chance of having at least some elements of this, especially in the books with fantastic elements. Pippi and Ronja are the clearest examples, but there are many others.
  • All Myths Are True: The Brothers Lionheart and Mio.
  • Author Tract: And Author Avatar, at the same time: Pomperipossa in Monismania is about a writer of childrens' books who lived in a country that, while mostly a fairish place to live, had quirks in the tax system that led to the marginal tax rate being 102% for Pomperipossa. It was written in reaction to Lindgren finding out that her marginal tax rate was... 102%. Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped may apply; the story led to a fairly intense debate regarding taxes, and may even have been a decisive factor in the Social Democrats losing the elections to the Riksdag that year, for the first time in 40 years.
  • Big Eater: Karlsson-on-the-roof.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Quite a few characters show this from time to time, though Karlsson-on-the-Roof and Pippi Longstocking are the clearest examples.
  • Death by Childbirth: The fate of Mio's mother.
  • Escapist Character: Pippi and Karlsson are both prime examples of this, as they regularly do (and get away with!) all kinds of things that children can only wish they could do — though in Karlsson's case, Lillebror ends up taking the rap a few times before his parents discover that Karlsson isn't just a fantasy scapegoat.
  • First Name Ultimatum: "EEEEEMIIIIL!!!"
  • The Gay Nineties: While not *exactly* the same (most of the stories would take place in the early 20th century) the depiction of rural Sweden in eg. Emil of Lönneberga and Children of the Noisy Village has much in common with this trope.
  • Gene Hunting: Mio again. Also happens to Pippi to some extent, although it's not "find dad" as much as "Rescue dad... From PIRATES!"
  • Great Gazoo: Karlsson from the eponymous book. Not really powerful as Great Gazoos go, but still qualifies.
  • How Do You Like Them Apples?: The sign that Mio is the prince of the Land of Faraway.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: There are a lot of them in Lindgren's books, but the quintessential example is the one between Emil and Alfred in the Emil books.
    • Another notable one is between Rasmus and Paradis-Oskar in Rasmus and the Vagabond.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Mio has one.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Karlsson-on-the-roof. He's selfish, he's vain, he sulks whenever he doesn't get his way, he has no qualms about lying, cheating or stealing. But he never means any real harm, and he does get some real Pet the Dog moments (sometimes literally, as he's shown as being quite kind to dogs).
    • Emil's father also qualifies as this. He's an insufferable cheapskate and overly temperamental, but at the end of the day he's really quite soft-hearted.
  • Karma Houdini: Thanks to his status as Escapist Character, Karlsson-on-the-roof never suffers the consequences of any of the mischief he gets up to.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the otherwise fairly realistic Bill Bergson and the White Rose Rescue, Bill and Anders at one point half-jokingly philosophize about the possibility of them being fictional characters in a book, and how they can't be sure they aren't, because they wouldn't have been written with the knowledge that they are.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Ronja and Birk (possible subversion, in that they decide to be brother and sister, and call each other that on several occasions, but there are hints that the relationship could grow to be something more in later years. Birk's mother is certainly convinced of that, and none too pleased about it.)
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: The Emil books are supposedly based on the writings of Emil's mother, who meticulously wrote down all of Emil's pranks in blue notebooks. Sometimes Lindgren directly quotes from these books either before or after telling about the incident in greater detail, often adding her own thoughts about them and at one point criticizing Emil's mother for being too inaccurate and leaving out important details.
  • Mafia Princess: Ronja has some of these characteristics. When she finds out what a robber actually does she runs away from home.
  • Mordor: The dark land ruled by Kato in Mio.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Jonatan Lionheart is a prime example of this trope. He's aged up for the movie and it makes much more sense that way.
  • Mouthy Kid: Emil's quintessential role.
  • Mundane Afterlife: The Brothers Lionheart has an odd example. Nangijala is "The land of stories and campfires" but is generally pretty normal. Then it turns out that there may be another afterlife after that.
  • Naive Newcomer: Mio, and Skorpan
  • Noodle Incident: The author "has been sworn to secrecy" about what Emil did on the Third of November, so she teases the readers about it at every opportunity. That was the time the villagers took up a collection to send Emil to America.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Karlsson, at least in the beginning.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Katla is a big honking lizard, scared of loud noises and breathes fire that will kill or paralyze you.
  • Precision F-Strike: In Emil of Lönneberga, the farmhand Alfred tries for a long time to come up with a way to tell the maid Lina that he is not interested in marrying her, keeps stalling because he wants to say it in "A somewhat nice way" in order to not hurt her feelings. Ultimately, he tells her; "You know Lina, that engagement we have been talking about? I really think we should screw that." The narrator then explains to the reader that "I do not want to teach you any bad words, but that was really the best poor Alfred could come up with.
    • Later on, Emil goes trough a number of really severe swearwords with his little sister, but does so only to teach her things she must absolutely never say.
  • Tortured Abomination: The villain of one story has a heart of stone, suffers for it, and begs to be killed at the end.
  • Vague Age: Karlsson. Is he a child or an adult, or simply an ageless creature of fantasy? When asked, he only says that he's "a man in his prime" but doesn't elaborate further.