Author(s): Marcia Gripe
By the Winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Children's Literature Albert the Glassblower and Sofia are the loving parents of little Klas and Klara. Albert makes the most beautiful glass bowls and vases (unfortunately they are so impractical that no one will buy them), while Sofia supports the family by working in the fields. Every year Albert goes to the fair to try to sell his wares, and sometimes Sofia and the children go too. At the fair the family meets Flutter Mildweather, a weaver of magical rugs that foretell the future, and Klas and Klara come the attention of the splendid Lord and Lady of All Wishes Town, who have everything they want except for one thing: children. Full of curious and vivid characters-like the one-eyed raven Wise Wit, who can only see the bright side of life, and the monstrous governess Nana, whose piercing song can shatter glass-The Glassblower's Children also ponders such serious matters as what it means to find meaningful work and the difference between what you want and what you need.
In The Glassblower's Children Maria Gripe has drawn on fairy tales and Norse myths to tell a thrilling story with a very modern sensibility.
MARIA GRIPE (1923-2007) was born Maja Stina Walter in Sweden's Stockholm archipelago, the daughter of an army captain. She attended Stockholm University, where she studied philosophy and the history of religion, and in 1946 married the artist Harald Gripe. Though she wrote stories from the time she was a child, Gripe did not publish her first book until she was thirty-one. Her first notable success came in the 1960s with a trilogy of books about Hugo and Josephine, and in 1964 she published Glasblasarns barn, translated into English as The Glassblower's Children in 1973. In 1974 she received Hans Christian Andersen Award, the most prestigious prize given to a writer of children's literature. She adapted many of her books for radio, television, and film; in 1998 a movie adaptation of The Glassblower's Children, starring Stellan Skarsgard, was released. Among Gripe's books translated into English are The Night Daddy, Elvis and His Secret, and Agnes Cecilia. HARALD GRIPE (1921-1992) was born and raised in Stockholm. Early in his career he worked as a set designer but later focused on painting and the illustrations he drew for his wife's many books, working frequently in the style of white line etched into a dark background. His large collection of toy theaters is displayed at Gripe Model Theater Museum in Nykoping, Sweden, where he and Maria lived for most of their married life.