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American children’s author wins Astrid Lindgren prize

STOCKHOLM (AFP) -- American children’s author Meg Rosoff on Tuesday won the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for young people’s literature, the organization announced.

“Meg Rosoff’s 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. 

Writer Meg Rosoff (Astrid Lingren Memorial Award website)
Writer Meg Rosoff (Astrid Lingren Memorial Award website)

“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 honored to be the recipient,” Rosoff said in a written statement. 

“As a child I modeled 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,” she added.

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 5 million kroner ($614,000) award.

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

The prize will be presented on May 30 at the Stockholm concert hall.