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Peter Pohl

Peter Pohl
Born (1940-12-05) 5 December 1940
Hamburg, Germany
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Swedish
Genre Literature, Young-adult fiction, Children's literature

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.


  • Biography 1
  • Director 2
    • Filmography 2.1
  • Author 3
  • Bibliography 4
    • Textbooks 4.1
    • Fiction 4.2
    • Number of translations per language 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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 Defence Research Establishment 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.[1] Most of them were published in the 1980s and many have won various prices, from, among others, the Union Internationale du Cinéma, Swedish short film and video, and Nordic short film.[2]

Pohl has made a number of short films, mainly in the 1980s.


  • Nyckeln (The key), 1981, 15 minutes. It has been awarded several prizes:
    • Viktor (1st price in amateur category) from Svensk Smalfilm och Video (now Sveriges Film- och Videoförbund, SFV), 1982.
    • Silver medal and editing price (klippningspriset) at Nordisk Smalfilm, 1982.
    • 1st price in the category Fantasy and 5th price in al categories, short film contest, Argentina, 1982.
  • Du har ju mej! (But you have me!), 1982, 20 minutes. Won the bronze prize and the actor prize at Svensk Smalfilm och Video in 1982.
  • Medan nålen vandrar, 1982, 18 minutes.
  • Visiten (The visit), 1982, 12 minutes.
  • Alla klockor stannar (All clocks stop), 1983, 27 minutes.
  • Resan till havet (The journey to the sea), 1984, 23 minutes. The contents are similar to those in his book Havet inom oss (the sea inside us).
    • Bronze medal at Svensk Smalfilm och Video, 1986.
  • Muntlig tentamen (Oral exam), 1984.
  • Stipendiet (The scholarship), 1985, 20 minutes.
    • Director prize and prize for best female actor, Sandy gala, Västerås, 1987.
    • Silver medal and actor prize at Svensk Smalfilm och Video, 1988.
  • Ja, jag kommer! (Yes, I'm coming!), 1986, 16 minutes.
  • Gunga flöjt.
    • Bronze medal at Svensk Smalfilm och Video, 1989.
  • Det blir bättre nästa gång (It will be better next time), 1989, 20 minutes.
    • Silver medal and actor prize at Svensk Smalfilm och Video, 1991.
    • Silver medal at Nordisk Smalfilm
    • Gold medal and prize for best film at UNICA, European short film contest in Switzerland, 1991.
  • Änglar behövs dom? (Angels, are they needed?), 1990. This film was made after his book Glittras Uppdrag (Glittras assignment)[3]


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.[4] 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 .[5]

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[6] Those start with 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.[8]

Some of his books were originally published as adult literature, but later recategorised as books for youth.[7] Pohl does not consider himself an author of primarily youth literature. However, some books were written for children. Examples are Rabén & Sjögren.



  • Linjära differensekvationer med konstanta koefficienter; Liber, 1976
  • Numeriska Metoder (with Gerd Eriksson and Germund Dahlquist); THS, 1977
  • 220 ± 30 Exempel i Numeriska Metoder (with Gerd Eriksson); THS, 1978
  • Introduktion till BASIC-programmering; THS, 1979
  • Analytiska och Numeriska Metoder (with Eike Petermann); KTH, 1984
  • Elementära Numeriska Metoder; THS, 1991
  • Problem och Exempel i Numeriska Metoder; THS, 1992; Print on Demand 1997
  • Grunderna i Numeriska Metoder; THS, 1995; NADA, KTH 1999
  • Grundkurs i numeriska metoder; Liber, 2005.


Number of translations per language

26, soon 27
German: 10; Danish: 9; Norwegian: 6; Dutch: 4; Estonian: 3; English, Finnish, Icelandic: 2; French, Italian, Low German, Slovenian, Polish: 1; Total
13 books have been translated into at least one language. In total, the books have been translated to 13 different languages.


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  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
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  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d e f Part of the Rainbow Series

External links

  • Website Peter Pohl (Swedish)
  • Full bibliography
  • Partial list of translations

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