US writer wins Sweden's top children's book prize

AFP/The Local
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US writer wins Sweden's top children's book prize
Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

A prestigious Swedish prize for young people's literature, in memory of the country's most famous writer Astrid Lindgren, has been awarded to an American children's author.


Meg Rosoff on Tuesday won the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for young people's literature, the organization behind the prize announced.

"[Her] young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect. In sparkling prose, she writes about the search for meaning and identity in a peculiar and bizarre world," the jury said in its statement.

Rosoff was born in Boston in 1956, attended Harvard University and later published her first book 'How I Live Now' in 2004. The young adult novel tells the dystopian story of an anorexic New York teenager who spent a summer in the English countryside.

"Her brave and humorous stories are one-of-a-kind. She leaves no reader unmoved," said the jury of the fund named after Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish creator of Pippi Longstocking.

Rosoff's books include seven novels for teenagers. She has lived permanently in London since 1989.

"I am overwhelmed and profoundly honoured to be the recipient," Rosoff said in a written statement. "As a child I modelled myself on Pippi Longstocking – desperate to grow up brave enough to sail the seven seas, strong enough to lift a horse, unconventional enough to live by my own rules."

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was created by the Swedish government after Lindgren's death in January 2002, and claims today to be the world's largest prize for children's and young people's literature. The prize includes a five million kronor ($614,000) award.

Previous winners of the honour include Kitty Crowther of Belgium, Maurice Sendak of the United States and Philip Pullman of Britain.


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