Say Alfons Åberg, and everyone knows who he is, everyone can quote the ”I'll just...” from the very first book, ”good night, Alfie Atkins” (1971). Ingvar Carlsson made it into parliament once.
Alfons Åberg is a rundhuvad of the pillars of Swedish children's literature, a steady guy in the noppig brown shirt and patched trousers, who lives in a rather drab high-rise buildings with a kind piprökande dad.
, it has many puzzled about over the years. Maybe she is just out shopping? suggested Alfie creator Gunilla Bergström once, genuinely uninterested to account for every detail in Alfie's life.
It has been twenty-six Alfonsböcker (and coloring books, tygböcker, pysselböcker, miniböcker, a visbok and then some) since then. The books have sold in a total of nine million copies (one of which, ”Goodnight, Alfie Atkins” stands for a half a million), and available in thirty languages. Alfie called, among other things, Alfie Atkins in English-speaking countries, Ifan Bifan in welsh, Álvur Ákason in the Faroe islands and Alphonse Amnimontane in latin. In the Klas Gustafsons newly published biography ”Behind the Alfie atkins - Gunilla Bergström into my life”, are all figures with which her books had been on the top ten list of the libraries ' utlåningsstatistik since 1980.
– Since 1980! On the top ten list! I thought that actually, no, says Gunilla Bergström, surprised, and laughs his distinctive, hostiga laughter.
" It was the big unveiling for my part in the biography. Things I don't understand myself.
book review: ”Alfons with styrkesäcken” allows the imagination to take the power
in the age in the books, becoming younger and older, about every second, for it is not really a series but a number of single books.
" I have never written it as a series, but started from a feeling, a situation or an experience. It is never about the person Alfie Atkins, it is about fear of darkness or bad conscience, of war, who will get to play together, to be too small, or about how it is to have a låssaskompis. Alfie must switch in age, depending on what it is I want to tell you.
Gunilla Bergström often laughs, her eyes sparkle, and narrows. She is one of the most enjoyable to interview; always open and cheerful, full of anecdotes, stories, and commitment. And very determined, ”Write now, not a whole lot about how the sin of it is about me and how horrible my life has been!”Gunilla Bergström Photo: Lisa Thanner
she's equally determined the other way, and eyes big and sad like a ghost animals at Skansen: ”But there has been much that has been difficult, it has it.”
Life is both joy and sorrow, simply, and Gunilla Bergström has received a bushel full of both.
Her parents divorced when she was a child, but both remarried. ”It was exciting to get new siblings, it was hi faderittan, simply”, says Gunilla Bergström in the biography. Of the mother, everything was well organised, good order, while that of the father and his Danish konstnärsfru was imaginative, inventive and creative.
Gunilla Bergström likes to talk about her stepmother, Kristine Harrebek, which was infinitely important, and a dear friend. It was Kristine who taught Gunilla konstnärsvillkoren, when she closed the door to his studio three hours a day. Then you got no one to interfere.
and , of course, and always. For Gunilla Bergström have the images always been what has been the most fun. Parents suggested that she go to a tecknarutbildning, but it is understood she has not, to subscribe for, she could already? Instead, she learned first posting, then to journalism, and spent a few fun years as a reporter on the first of the day's News, then the newspaper Aftonbladet.
It was on Aftonbladet she wrote a series of articles about divorce, and when she had left all of the texts and went home she realized suddenly that she had completely forgotten the children's perspective. Then she went home and wrote his first children's book, ”Mia's dad moves out”, and sent to the Rabén & Sjögren.
all this, and heard nothing from the publisher on a full year. When her husband one day asked how it had gone she called the publisher who has just prepared the release, and Gunilla Bergström had to come and look at the supposed illustrations.
Nah. Them, she didn't feel.
" My editors were Marianne Eriksson and Gallie Eng, and they said: Try it yourself! Make your own images! I went home and tried out, and then – it was so much fun! Then I thought: this is going to be my life.
since Then, the image has been a constant, strong undercurrent of joy, so obvious that she did not really notice what a gift she has. The texts she gets gneta more with, write about, and put. In the case of the pictures, hesitant, she rarely.
when she started; the young journalist, bokdebutant, first Alfonsboken came the year after, a newly-minted mother of two. But with the second child changed the life of the foundation, for her daughter Boel proved to be severely handicapped.
boel's disability has influenced Gunilla Bergström's life. She has worked extensively for children with disabilities through the years, and the books about Bill and Bounce, where Bounce is disabled, is among her most important. The books that tell children about how it is to have a different sibling, and that has been so important for other parents.
" One is so alone as a parent in that situation, so helpless, we need each other much more than others. Although all children are different, there are no universal rules.
For Gunilla Bergström went to the marriage in the kras, and myself, she suffered a prolonged depression.
It was a second marriage eventually, with Mame Dukureh from the Gambia, whom she lived with for eight happy years before he passed away in cancer. After it was all dark for a very long time.
the difficult periods, such as the increasingly heavier worn with the company Bokmakaren. When she finally handed it over to his son Pål and other relatives, she was so that she almost just slept in a whole year, in a depression that took a long time to get out.
In the year she fills 77 years and have started to sort his life, the boxes that are going to the Royal Library is pre-packed at home. But what will she do with all the others? Gunilla Bergström has lots of things: props for plays, sets like the one she did to the first piece, as a large book where each spread was an environment and the actor Björn Gustafsson went from the environment to the environment by turning the leaves.
He and his wife placed it on the roof of a car when they toured. That it did! But what should I do with it now?
Just maybe it would go to archive a book on the institute for children's books, even if it is an unusually large book.
think about, decisions to be taken. And perhaps a statement about the large livsverket?
– Yes: so it can go when you're having fun – then you can get success. But! Fun is not the same as entertainment. You'll have fun inside. And the most fun thing about it is that you do with their own fingers, her own body: skejta, carpentry, sew, cook crack.
she Says, Gunilla Bergström. Yourself, she reads their favorite authors again, Torgny Lindgren and some to.
– Now, I read Chekhov for the fourth time. Think of all the skrivarskolor and methods which the authors learn now-a-days, how to build a story with the cliffhanger and everything. Chekhov is the very best, and in his lyrics is no cliffhanger.