Anne-Cath. Vestly

Also known asAnne-Catharina Schulerud
Born15 Feb. 1920 (dead 15 Dec. 2008)
FunctionsAuthor, Actor, Visual artist
NationalityNorwegian
GenderFemale

About Anne-Cath. Vestly

Anne-Cath. Vestly (full name Anne-Catharina Vestly, born as Anne-Catharina Schulerud February 15 1920 in Rena in the municipality of Åmot and dead December 15 2008 in Mjøndalen in the municipality of Nedre Eiker) was a Norwegian writer of books for children, an illustrator and actress.

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More about Anne-Cath. Vestly

Anne-Cath. Vestly was most known for writing books for children, with characters including Ole Aleksander, Grandma and the Eight Children, Lillebror (literally: Little Brother) and Twigson (Norwegian: Knerten), Aurora and Guro. Several of her characters she wrote several books about, and all in all she became the author of well more than fifty books. Several of these are dramatised for the theatre, and many are filmed.

In Norway Anne-Cath. Vestly is regarded among the greatest writers among the classics for children, in the same generation as Swedish Astrid Lindgren and Norwegians Thorbjørn Egner and Alf Prøysen.

Vestly was also known from the radio program Barnetimen for de minste (literally: The Children's Hour, for the smallest), in particular during the 1950es. When she moved to Oslo in her youth, she wanted a career as an actress, and she acted in the TV series for children called Kanutten og Romeo Clive (literally: Kanutten and Romeo Clive) against Alf Prøysen. In a number of movies at a later time she gave life to the Grandma character from her own books in the Eight Children series.

Anne-Cath. Vestly was the first to bring the big city into Norwegian literature for children, and she raised scandal more than once. In particular during the 1950es, when she through the radio told the children that kids came from their mothers' tummies, not by 'stork'. This led to death threats and protests, because small children should not get to know anything as 'dirty'. Her next series was about Grandma and the Eight Children, through which the suburbia was introduced. The series started with Eight Children and a Truck (Norwegian title: Åtte små, to store og en lastebil) in 1957, and the next year came Eight Children Move House (Norwegian title: Mormor og de åtte ungene i skogen).

Next was the story about Lillebror (literally: Little Brother) and Twigson. During the 1960es Vestly again was criticised, now because the father of Aurora became a stay-at-home dad. This led to massive criticism from men, but even more from women who felt sorry for the poor man who had to push a baby pushchair.

Vestly often read her own books in recordings, and she was known for her 'gentle' voice and warm narrative style. Still she had the ability to raise issues bringing the contemporary and the urban mundane into literature for children. At the same time she wanted to turn the common perceptions upside-down and she was not afraid to challenge children's, and not least adults', prejudice.

Anne-Cath Vestly's books have been translated into a number of languages, and her work can be summed up as great love to children and childhood. Not until she had reached the age of 83 did Anne-Cath. Vestly publish her first book for adults. Then she was ready with satirical texts about society.

Anne-Catharina Vestly's parents were Mentz Oliver Schulerud (1877 - 1931) and Aagot Schulerud (1875 - 1957). She was married to Johan Vestly (1923 - 1993), and they had two sons together, Jo Vestly and Håkon Vestly. Anne-Cath. Vestly was the sister of Mentz Schulerud (JR.).

Her husband, Johan Vestly, was her illustrator for a long time, but after his death Anne-Cath. Vestly illustrated her own books. About her personal life she has published the memoirs Lappeteppe fra en barndom (literally: Quilt from a Childhood) (1990) and Nesten et helt menneske - lappeteppe 2 (literally: Almost a whole human being - Quilt 2) (2000).

In November 2008 Anne-Cath. Vestly's son, Jo Vestly, told the media that she suffered from dementia (Alzheimer's disease), and that she had moved house to a nursing home in Mjøndalen because of it. She died December 15 the same year.

The movie about Twigson had its cinema premiere the autumn of 2009, upon which two sequels followed, Twigson Ties the Knot (2010) and Twigson in Trouble (2011).

Sources:

Store Norske Leksikon on Anne-Cath. Vestly, http://snl.no/.nbl_biografi/Anne-Cath_Vestly/utdypning

Wikipedia, no.wikipedia.org, 14.12.2011, http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne-Cath._Vestly

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