Elizabeth loved Pippi Longstocking


It's the birthday of children's novelist Astrid Lindgren, born in Vimmerby, Sweden  (1907). She grew up on a farm in southern Sweden, playing with her brothers  and sisters and listening to her family tell stories. Eventually she got  married, had a daughter, and gave up working at age 24 in order to stay home  and take care of her kids. One day, her daughter, Karin, was sick in bed, so  Astrid started telling her stories of a spunky, strong, independent girl who  mocks adults and manages to get by just fine without a family, caution,  education, or the opposite sex. And that girl was Pippi Longstocking, with  magical powers, a pet monkey, freckles, and bright red pigtails that stuck out  on either side of her head. The book was published as Pippi L√•ngstrump (1945) in Sweden, Pippi Longstocking in English, and it became one of the most  beloved children's books of all time. She described Pippi: "Her hair, the  color of a carrot, was braided in two tight braids that stuck straight out. Her  nose was the shape of a very small potato and was dotted all over with  freckles."
 Astrid Lindgren went on to write more than 80 books, and  died at age 94.

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How Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

> From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry