Acceptance Speech by Lygia Bojunga

One morning, early down there in Rio de Janeiro, I received a phone call from Sweden with the news that I had just been elected winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The surprise and emotion that took hold of me were, indeed, very great. I had not been nominated by any country, by any institution, by any publishing house, I had not been nominated at all and yet the jury of ALMA opted for my work. No wonder I felt so surprised by such independent decision of the Swedish jury; no wonder I felt so moved: immediately I recognized in that decision the very same independence that Sweden - for quite a long while now, and in so many different issues - is constantly showing to the world, proving that it is possible to maintain a freedom of choice, even in our so called globalization... A freedom of choice that is so much the spirit of Pippi Longstocking and of other great characters created by Astrid Lindgren, making her, not only a symbol of that spirit but, as well, the focal point, the magnet of our encounter today. It is the hope to preserv that spirit in the literature for youngsters, and in life itself, that has united us here.

It is my firm decision – through the encouragement of this generous prize given to me by Sweden - to enhance my efforts in order to spread in my home Brasil, and wherever my work can reach, this same Swedish spirit of independence and attachment to cultural values. My deepest thanks to the government of this country and to the jury of ALMA to have honoured me with such splendid opportunity.

Lygia Bojunga
Lygia Bojunga