- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 29, 2002

STOCKHOLM Writer Astrid Lindgren, whose freethinking character Pippi Longstocking has been cherished by youngsters around the world for decades, died yesterday. She was 94.
Drawing on her childhood memories, Miss Lindgren wrote more than 100 works, including novels, short stories, plays, song books and poetry.
Her works were translated into dozens of languages, as diverse as Azerbaijani and Zulu, and sold more than 130 million copies worldwide. Nearly 40 films and television series were based on Miss Lindgren's stories.
Her most popular character was the freckled Pippi Longstocking, with her unmistakable braided red hair and mismatched stockings.
Miss Lindgren, who suffered a stroke in 1998, died at her Stockholm home, her secretary Kerstin Kvint said. She was surrounded by family and friends in her final days.
Miss Lindgren won dozens of prizes for her books, among them the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1958, considered the ultimate accolade for a children's writer.
Her work broke important boundaries, New York-based author Laura Pedersen said.
"In Lindgren, there was this wonderful subversiveness," Miss Pedersen said. "She talked about breaking the rules … we often see rules that are wrong, and they should be broken."
Miss Lindgren had said her happy childhood was the basis for stories about the Noisy Village, where children romped through green forests in summer, skated on a frozen lake in winter and went fishing for crayfish in the fall.
While Pippi Longstocking was an instant hit among children when she first appeared in 1945, parents often were shocked by the unruly Pippi, who rebelled against society and happily mocked institutions such as the police and charity ladies.
Another favorite character was Karlsson-On-the-Roof, who described himself as "handsome, remarkably wise, and just plump enough in fact a Man in his Prime." With a propeller on his back, he would fly over Stockholm.
"Children know much better than grown-ups what is real and what is unreal," Miss Lindgren told Swedish radio. "I have written the books for myself, for my own pleasure, and I don't want to moralize or teach them to behave."
Though Miss Lindgren excelled in playful storytelling, she also touched sensitive themes evil, death and fear in a straightforward but tender way. She taught readers of all ages that you can be brave even if you are scared.

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