US author Laurie Halse Anderson has been awarded the 2023 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was created in 2002 by the Swedish government to promote every child’s right to great stories. A global award, it is given annually to a person or organisation for their outstanding contribution to children’s and young adult literature. With a prize of five million Swedish kronor (EUR 450,000), it is the largest award of its kind and highlights the importance of reading, today and for future generations.
Laurie Halse Anderson wins for writing about challenging topics in ways that both engage and move readers. There is a passion in her writing that goes straight to the heart, says jury chair Boel Westin.
The Citation of the Jury is here: ‘In her tightly written novels for young adults, Laurie Halse Anderson gives voice to the search for meaning, identity, and truth, both in the present and the past. Her darkly radiant realism reveals the vital role of time and memory in young people’s lives. Pain and anxiety, yearning and love, class and sex are investigated with stylistic precision and dispassionate wit. With tender intensity, Laurie Halse Anderson evokes, moods, and emotions and never shies from even the hardest things.’
Laurie Halse Anderson’s literary breakthrough came with the young adult novel Speak, about a young woman raped at a party. Wintergirls is a harrowing and detailed documentation of two girls’ life-threatening eating disorders, The trilogy Seeds of America includes the books Chains, Forge and Ashes.