Astrid Saalbach was born on November 29, 1955. She grew up in Elsinore, Denmark, and graduated from Senior School in 1975. On leaving Senior School, she went straight to The Danish National School of Theatre from which she graduated in 1978. She worked as an actor until 1985. Debuted as a playwright with the radio play Traces in the Sand (Spor i sandet), 1981.

All plays have been produced in Denmark and produced or published in one or more of the following countries: Austria, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Island, India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithaunia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States.


“Traces in the Sand” (Spor i sandet), radio play, 1981
“The Confirmation” (Bekræftelsen), radio play, 1982
“Children of the Shadows” (Skyggernes børn), radio play, 1983
“A Fading World” (En verden der blegner), television drama, 1984
“The Face of the Moon” (Månens ansigt), short stories, 1985
“The Invisible Town” (Den usynlige by), play, 1986
“The Dancing Lesson” (Dansetimen), play, 1986
“The Forgotten Forest” (Den glemte skov), novel, 1988
“Myung” (Myung), television drama, 1989
“Morning and Evening” (Morgen og aften), play, 1993
“Enemy Country” (Fjendens land), novel, 1994
“The Blessed Child” (Det velsignede barn), play, 1996
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust” (Aske til aske, støv til støv), play, 1998
“The One She Is” (Den hun er), novel, 1999
“The Cold Heart” (Det kolde hjerte), play, 2002
”The End of the World” (Verdens ende), play, 2003
“The Finger in the Flame” (Fingeren i flammen), novel, 2005
“Pietà” (Pietà), play, 2007
“Red and Green” (Rødt og grønt), play, 2010
“The Displacement” (Fordrivelsen), novel, 2011
“Little Soldier” (Lille soldat), short monologue, 2013
“The Rattlesnake” (Klapperslangen), novel, 2014
“The Stylists” (Frisørerne), play, 2014
“The Call” (Kaldet), play, 2016
“Where you don’t want to go” (Der hvor du ikke vil hen), novel, 2021
“Lindely” (Lindely), novel, 2023


1983: Nordic Radio Drama Prize
1986: Edvard Pedersen’s Library Fund Prize for Authors
1987: The Kjell Abell Prize
1992 – 1994: Co-editor of the periodical Kritik
1992 – 1995: Resident playwright at Aarhus Theatre
1995: The Prize of Honour of the Society of Authors
1996: The Holberg Medal
1997: Danish Arts Council: Lifelong Endowment
2000 – 2002: Member of the Literary Council
2002: The Wilhelm Hansen Foundation Award
2004: The Reumert Award for best play
2004: The Nordic Playwright Award
2011 – 2020: Member of The Danish Academy
2012: The Dan Turèll Medal
2013: The Søren Gyldendal Travel Grant
2018: Wilhelm Hansen Honorary Award
2022: Odd Fellow Ordenens Litteraturpris


Michael Evans: Astrid Saalbach and Red and Green: An Introduction. From TheatreForum (USA), 2012. Click to open as pdf in a new window / tab.

Karen-Maria Bille: The Essential Fairy Tale. A conversation with Astrid Saalbach. Click to open as pdf in a new window / tab.