Katitzi is a series of 13 semi-autobiographical books about a Romani girl that were written by the activist Katarina Taikon between 1969 and 1980.
The books have been turned into a comic magazine series and a television series and inspired musicals and theatre plays.
The series itself, the form of the individual stories and the style and humour of the books recall the tradition of Swedish children books. But the topics they deal with go beyond the world of children. The accounts of the everyday experiences of the main character, Katitzi, raise many serious issues that Roma faced in the Swedish welfare state, including access to education and housing as well as inequality.
Unlike most literary works of Romani writers, Katarina Taikon’s book series has become part of mainstream literature and numbers among the children’s classics in Sweden. Katitzi is one of the most important characters in Swedish children literature: like Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking and Selma Lagerlöf’s Nils Holgersson is now considered a must-read for every child in the country.
Taikon, Katarina. 1969. Katitzi. Tyresö: Zigenaren.
Taikon, Katarina. 1970. Katitzi och Swing. Stockholm: Gidlund.