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Dutch author wins 2012 Astrid Lindgren award

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | 10:31 a.m. CDT

STOCKHOLM — Dutch writer Guus Kuijer has been named this year's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's literature, honored for his ability to portray life's big problems with humor and warmth, the prize jury said Tuesday.

Kuijer, 69, has written more than 30 books since making his debut in 1975, releasing works such as "The Book of Everything" and "Florian Knol" — mainly directed at adolescents entering their teen years.

"Respect for children is as self-evident in his works as his rejection of intolerance and oppression. Kuijer combines serious subject matter and razor-sharp realism with warmth, subtle humor and visionary flights of fancy," the jury said in its citation, noting that he consistently conveys a message of "tolerance, understanding and broad-mindedness" through his works.

Kuijer, whose books have been translated into more than 10 languages, has previously seen his work honored with prizes such as the German Children's Literature Award and the Dutch National Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature.

The annual award, worth 5 million Swedish kronor ($742,000), is named after late Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, creator of the Pippi Longstocking book series. According to organizers it is one of the largest prizes for children's and young people's literature in the world.

Kuijer will receive the award at a ceremony in Stockholm on May 28.


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