Currently lives in: Stockholm
Jury member since: 2021
Balsam Karam is a writer who also works as a children’s librarian at Rinkeby Public Library. She is one of the directors of Läslust Rinkeby, a project promoting reading among children ages 8–12. She published her debut novel, Händelsehorisonten (Event Horizon), in 2018. Her second book, Singulariteten (The Singularity), appeared in 2021.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
"An astronomer and an artist."
How does it feel to serve on the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury?
"It’s an incredible honor and incredibly exciting and fun. I place a very high value on children’s and young people’s literature, not least in my job as a children’s librarian. So naturally over the years I’ve always followed the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and tried to raise awareness for it. Thanks to the award, I’ve also discovered writers, illustrators and organizations that have been important for my own writing – Shaun Tan and the Tamer Institute, to name two."
What are you hoping to gain from your work on the jury?
"I expect to read and to learn an enormous amount! I’ll be taking part in productive conversations about the state of children’s literature around the world, which is a true privilege. For my part, I hope I can contribute through my own language abilities and perspectives, perhaps especially as a professional librarian."
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
"I speak five languages fluently, I love SpongeBob SquarePants, and Prince is my idol."