Peter Pohl

Peter Pohl, born in Hamburg in 1940, emigrated with his mother to Sweden at the end of World War II after the death of his German father. He was particularly interested early on in Mathematics, Physics and Athletics. From childhood, Pohl wrote everything down and also experimented with photography. »Even as a six-year-old I wanted to find all the right words to describe things that I told or to remind myself of what I wanted to express«, is how he describes his motivation. He studied Mathematics and Physics, took a job in 1963 as a research assistant at the Swedish Defence Research Agency, but then switched to the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In 1975 he completed his doctorate in numerical analysis, subsequently working as a university lecturer in the field and publishing numerous textbooks. His interest in language and images followed, as he began dealing with film theory and became successful as a film maker. He had found both the cinematic narrative and his writing style. In 1985 Peter Pohl finally made his writing début with the revised narrative of his 1950s »Janne, min vän« (Engl: »Johnny, my friend«, 1991). In the analytical narrative style of a detective novel, the author tells the story of two young people’s friendship and its tragic end. The central themes in his published works for children and young adults in the years that followed, such as friendship, bullying, identity and violence, were also used by the author for his own biography, and especially clear in his young adult book »Regnbågn har bara åtta färger« (1986; tr: The rainbow has only eight colours), which was originally published as an adult novel. His stories achieve authenticity by having the courage to let go of final answers and by using the narrative style to create an open conclusion which is the starting point for dialogue and reflection. Peter Pohls book »Anton, jag gillar dig!« (2008; tr: Anton, I like you!) again addresses the themes of friendship and social isolation. It tells of Anton, admired by all his classmates who are surprised when he makes friends with Jojo, who inadvertently discovers Anton’s secrets. Peter Pohl’s most recent book, »En vän som heter Mia« (2011, t: My friend Mia), about 11-year-old Mia, whose parents are irresponsible addicts, is again a story of the power of friendship. Peter Pohl’s books have received many national and international prizes, including the twice received German Youth Literature Prize (1990, 1995). He lives with his family south of Stockholm in Tyresö.

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