Movies My Friend Joe
|Name Peter Pohl|
Awards August Prize
|Born 5 December 1940 (age 75)
Hamburg, Germany (1940-12-05) |
Genre Literature, Young-adult fiction, Children's literature
Education Royal Institute of Technology
Books I Miss You, I Miss You!, Johnny, My Friend
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Peter Pohl (born 5 December 1940) is a Swedish author and former director and screenwriter of short films. He has received prizes for several of his books and films, as well as for his entire work. From 1966 until his retirement in 2005, he was lecturer in Numerical analysis at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
Peter Pohl was born on 5 December 1940 in Hamburg, Germany. He lost his father during World War II and moved to Sweden with his mother in 1945, where he started school in 1947. He went to the Södra Latin gymnasium in Stockholm until 1959. During this period, he engaged in medium-distance running, with good results, but he quit running when he was 19 years old. From his 15th until his 30th (1970), Pohl was part of the schools summer camp at Värmdö and later at Blidö. This period of his life is described in the books that form the Rainbow Series and are of particular influence of his other books.
He studied mathematics and physics and was a research assistant at the Swedish National Defence Research Institute for several years, starting in 1963. Pohl soon returned to university in order to graduate at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where he received his doctorate in Numerical analysis in 1975. He became a lecturer in Numerical analysis and wrote several textbooks on this subject.
Pohl started filming in 1980 and won various prizes for his work. His writing career started in 1983 and two years later he published his first and most successful book, translated in English as Johnny, My Friend. Since then, he has published (As of 2008) 26 works of fiction.
He retired as a lecturer in 2005.
Before he published his first book, Pohl created a number of short films. Most of them were published in the 1980s and many have won various prizes, from, among others, the Union Internationale du Cinéma, Swedish short film and video, and Nordic short film.
Pohl has made a number of short films, mainly in the 1980s.
Pohl has published a total number of 35 books: 9 textbooks and 26 works of fiction. He is primarily known for his works of fiction.
His fiction is mostly drama, but also includes two works of poetry, a book with fairy tales and a "picture book without pictures" that defies categorisation. In most of his books, children and teenagers are the main characters. He considers this to be the most important period of a life. Typical themes are loneliness, betrayal, lies, a longing for friendship, death. On his website, he writes that he does so because it is reality for many adults, youths and kids, and it would be a shame to be silent about that.
Of his drama, two books were translated into English: Johnny, My Friend about a mysterious new boy in the neighborhood, and I miss you, I miss you! about the loss of a twin sister. In total, 13 of his books have been translated into 13 languages, mostly in Norwegian, Danish and German, but more recently also in languages such as Estonian and Polish.
Among the books he published in the first four years of his writer career are three of the autobiographical books that form the rainbow series. Those are true and about his own life Those start with Regnbågen har bara åtta färger (The rainbow has only eight colours). In this book, Pohl described his early childhood, starting immediately after he moved to Sweden, until he was eight years old. The story takes place between 1945 and 1948. It is followed by Medan regnbågen bleknar (While the rainbow is fading), covering the period 1949 – 1952. Vilja växa (Want to grow up) described the period 1952 – 1958. The fourth book, Vi kallar honom Anna, he describes one year, particularly one summer, where he, part of the summercamp organisation, observes how a teenage boy is severely bullied. This book was published before Medan regnbågen bleknar and Vilja växa, just shortly after Regnbågen har bara åtta färger, and received a lot of attention and prizes. The final book in the series is Klara papper är ett måste, which starts in 1966. Additionally, the book De Stora Penslarnas lek, which Pohl describes as a starting point for his writing, contains fairy tales, based on the fairy tales from the grandfather in Regnbågen har bara åtta färger.
Other books, such as I miss you, I miss you! and Sekten are based on true stories that came to him directly or indirectly.
Some of his books were originally published as adult literature, but later recategorised as books for youth. Pohl does not consider himself an author of primarily youth literature. However, some books were written for children. Examples are Glittras uppdrag, a fairy tale about an angel that protects a six-year-old boy, and Malins kung Gurra, written for a contest organised by publisher Rabén & Sjögren.