Annika Thor

Annika Thor was born to Jewish parents in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1950.  Originally educated as a librarian, she made a name for herself in her homeland as a film and TV critic, before she devoted herself solely to the writing of children’s and young people’s books, theatre plays, and screenplays for film and television. Annika Thor is now one of the best known Swedish authors for children and young adults.  Her novels have been translated into various languages and have been awarded many prizes.

Her debut novel ‘En ö i havet’ (1996) was received with much enthusiasm by critics and readers alike. In 1996 it was nominated for the most prestigious literature prize in Sweden, the August Prize, and was awarded the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.  ‘En ö i havet’ is the first of four novels, in which the author tells the story of two Jewish sisters, Steffi and Nelli, who are sent into exile in Sweden by their parents in Vienna, in order to protect them from persecution by the National Socialists.  The tetralogy follows the two girls through their adolescence and depicts their sometimes difficult, sometimes untroubled daily life as refugee children.  By telling the story from the point of view of the protagonists, human vices and virtues are made both realistic and comprehensible.

The publication of her novel ‘Sanning eller konsekvens’ in 1997 coincided with the release of the award-winning film by Christina Olofson, for which Annika Thor wrote the screenplay. The novel was awarded the August Prize and is one of the most important literary contributions on the topic of bullying of school children.  Written from the point of view of twelve year-old Nora, who is afraid that she has lost her best friend to her classmate Fanny, and who on no account wants to “hang out” with unpopular Karin, the novel tells a tale of peer pressure, fear of exclusion and the cruelties of daily life at school.  Annika Thor creates a sensitive, didactic piece of writing, which calls upon us to treat fellow humans with respect – and to take responsibility for our own actions, without a hint of patronising.

Annika Thor’s first children’s book ‘Rött hjärta blå fjäril’ (2002, Engl: A red heart, a blue butterfly), a charming love story about the primary school children Alva and Love was nominated for the Deutschen Jugendliteraturpreis 2004. The bittersweet sequel, “Pirr i magen, klump i halsen” (2003, Engl: A rabbit for Alva) describes how Alva and Love split, though their friendship continues due to their shared interest in keeping rabbits. As a script writer, Thor adapted her tetralogy about Steffi and Nelli into a TV series, which will be broadcast on Swedish television in December 2003. The author lives in Stockholm.

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