Astrid Lindgren som barn med sin familj

Astrid's siblings

“How we played, my brother and sisters and I! From dawn till dusk. Tirelessly, full of excitement and joy, sometimes with our lives at risk - but that we didn’t understand.”

Astrid stina ingegerd systrar

Gunnar was the oldest of the siblings. He was born in 1906, one year before Astrid. Since they were so close in age, they almost always played together. Gunnar was the leader and played the leading role in many of the games the siblings played. He was also the one who took over the farm after their parents, he lived at Näs until his death in 1974.

Stina was born in 1911 and was called ”Slima” because she once accidentally spelled her name like that when she was little. Ingegerd, the youngest sister, who was born in 1916 when Astrid was nine years old, called herself ”Nickon” for reasons not entirely understood by the others.


“There were two things that made our childhood what it was - security and freedom.”

Astrid Lindgren, in the book 'Mitt Småland' ('My Småland') by Astrid Lindgren and Margareta Strömstedt

All four siblings spent their adult lives, in one way or another, writing. Apart from running the farm at Näs, Gunnar also became a member of the Swedish parliament, and the author of political satires set in an ancient Sweden ‘Svitjod’.  Stina worked as a translator and Ingegerd became a journalist. Samuel August used to say about his ‘writing children’ in his broad Småland twang: “Some strange children I got. All of them busy with words. What’s the chances of that?”

The siblings had a close relationship all through their lives. The sisters called each other every day and visited their brother at Näs as often as they could, even as they got older.