16 March: Tribute to Selma Lagerlof

OV Digital Desk
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Selma Lagerlof

Selma Lagerlof (20 November 1858 – 16 March 1940) was a Swedish author and the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909.

Life and Career

She was born on 20 November 1858, in Marbacka, Sweden. In 1882, she began studying at the Teacher Training College in Stockholm, where she became interested in storytelling and began to develop her own writing style. After completing her studies, she worked as a teacher for several years before turning to write full-time.

Her early experiences with illness and disability had a profound impact on her writing, and themes of empathy and social justice are common in her work. She was also deeply influenced by the natural beauty of her native Värmland, and many of her stories are set in rural Sweden.

Her most famous work is “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” (1906), a children’s book that tells the story of a young boy who is magically shrunken and travels on the back of a goose across Sweden. She also wrote many other novels and short stories, often drawing on her experiences of growing up in rural Sweden and her interest in social justice issues.

Despite her lack of formal education, she became one of the most celebrated writers of her time and is widely regarded as one of Sweden’s greatest literary figures. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala in 1907 and was elected to the Swedish Academy in 1914.

She was also an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and served as a member of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature.

She died on 16 March 1940, in Marbacka, Sweden.

Award and Legacy

She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909.

The Selma Lagerlöf Prize is a literary award that was established in 1983 by the Swedish government in his honor. The award is given annually to a writer, translator, or promoter of literature, who has contributed significantly to the development of the Swedish language and literature.

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