War Diaries, 1939-1945

War Diaries, 1939-1945


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These personal diaries kept by Astrid Lindgren, author of the world famous Pippi Longstocking books, chronicle the horrors of World War II.

Before she became internationally known for her Pippi Longstocking books, Astrid Lindgren was an aspiring author living in Stockholm with her family at the outbreak of the Second World War. The diaries she kept throughout the hostilities offer a civilian's, a mother's, and an aspiring writer’s unique account of the devastating conflict. She emerges as a morally courageous critic of violence and war, as well as a deeply sensitive and astute observer of world affairs. We hear her thoughts about rationing, blackouts, the Soviet invasion of Finland, and the nature of evil, as well as of her personal heartbreaks, financial struggles, and trials as a mother and writer.

Posthumously published in Sweden to great international acclaim, these diaries were called in the Swedish press an “unparalleled war narrative,” “unprecedented.” and a “shocking history lesson.” Illustrated with family photographs, newspaper clippings, and facsimile pages, Lindgren’s diaries provide an intensely personal and vivid account of Europe during the war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300234565
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 798,057
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Astrid Lindgren (1907–2002) was a Swedish writer best known for her Pippi Longstocking series. Her books have been translated into 97 languages and have sold approximately 150,000,000 copies worldwide.


An excerpt from War Diaries, 1939–1945:

21 May
Today was Karin’s sixth birthday. Today the Germans reached the English
Channel. And today summer arrived, wonderful and painfully lovely to take in,
with all one’s senses. It really smelt like summer today, the air full of scents and
the pale green of the leaves on the trees looking fabulous.
For the first time in Karin’s life, her father wasn’t at home on her birthday. All
leave was cancelled from Saturday evening, though Sture got a special
dispensation to stay at home until Sunday afternoon, when he went off into the
spring rain. He hasn’t spent a night at home since, and will be sleeping in a tent
for the next fortnight. That’s to say, the rest of his company will; being Sture, he’s
arranged to have a roof over his head.
All leave has been cancelled nationwide, and the reason is said to be that the
Germans have demanded to be allowed to march through Sweden and the
German navy has steamed up through the straits at Öresund. All military
personnel the police found on the streets or at places of entertainment on
Saturday evening were sent direct to their camps.
God grant that the world will look different by Karin’s next birthday!

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