Frida Nilsson  [ Sweden ]


© Monika Franzon

Guest 2011.


Kråkans otroliga liftarsemester
Natur och Kultur
Stockholm, 2004

Ich, Dante und die Millionen
[Ill: Ulf K.]
Hildesheim, 2009
[Ü: Friederike Buchinger]

Ich, Gorilla und der Affenstern
[Ill: Ulf K.]
Hildesheim, 2010
[Ü: Friederike Buchinger]

Ryska kyssen och den fasansfulla brännaren
[Ill: Peter Bergting]
Rabén & Sjögren
Stockholm, 2011

Frida Nilsson, born in Hardemo, Sweden in 1979, discovered her passion for peering behind the scenes early on, inspired by her father’s work as a journalist and theatre writer. But instead of pursuing her own acting career after graduating from high school, she taught theatre to children, worked as a children’s radio programme presenter and from 2005 to 2010 hosted the children’s science programme »Hjärnkontoret« (»Upper Storey«) for state television. She also works as a dubbing artist.
While many of her early children’s books originated from stories conceived for radio, her published books have now been successfully adapted for radio. In a 2009 interview for the newspaper »Sydsvenskan«, Frida Nilsson was asked to what extent autobiographical elements influence her books and whether there were any taboo themes for children’s literature. Her answer: »My books are strewn with details from real life, but not necessarily things which I have personally experienced. […] You have to be prepared to write about anything, but not just in any old way.« The unusual settings and sometimes bizarre character ensembles she chooses for her children’s books are as surprising as their dramatic composition. With wit, a healthy dose of slapstick and laconic phrasing, Frida Nilsson only needs a few pages to draw readers of all ages into her protagonists’ adventures. In »Apstjärnan« (»Monkey Star«, 2005), for instance, she piques the reader’s curiosity with the story of Jonna, inadvertently adopted by a giant monkey called Gorilla. Her new home in a junkyard offers Jonna a freedom she has never known and room for development as an individual beyond the usual norms and roles. Small gestures and moments illustrate how the mismatched couple grows closer to each other within a few weeks. When the authorities, spurred on by one of Gorilla’s old enemies, threaten to split the pair up, they aren’t going to go quietly. Discovering her adoptive mother’s long-hidden secret leads Jonna to realise that they have more in common than she thought. In the children’s crime thriller »Jag, Dante och miljonerna« (»Me, Dante and the Milllions«, 2008), Frida Nilsson tells the story of bank manager Helge, wrongly accused of bank robbery, who meets Dante the rat on a rubbish tip. The author once again takes an unusual setting as a starting point for a tale which results in a recognition of the truly important things in life.
Among other citations, Frida Nilsson was nominated for the prestigious Swedish prize Augustpriset in the children’s and young adult’s literature category in 2006 for »Hedvig och Max-Olov« (»Hedvig and Max-Olov«, 2006). She lives in Stockholm and, in the summer months, near the city of Örebro.

© internationales literaturfestival berlin

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