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Stieg Larsson

Bestselling writer

A diverse background

Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) was a Swedish writer and journalist.

Prior to his sudden death of a heart attack in November 2004 he finished three detective novels in his trilogy "The Millenium-series" which were published posthumously; "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest". Altogether, his trilogy has sold more than 20 million copies in 41 countries (spring of 2010), and he was the second bestselling author in the world in 2008.

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STIEG LARSSON, 1954-2004

Before his career as a writer, Stieg Larsson was mostly known for his struggle against racism and right-wing extremism. Starting in the late 1970's, he combined his work as a graphic designer with holding lectures on right-wing extremism for Scotland Yard. During the following years he became an expert on the subject and held many lectures as well as writing many novels on the subject. In 1995, when 8 people were killed by neo-Nazis in Sweden, he was the main force behind the founding of the Expo-foundation, a group intended on exposing neo-Nazi activity in Sweden. From 1999 onwards he was appointed chief editor of the magazine Expo.

During the last 15 years of his life, he and his life companion Eva Gabrielsson lived under constant threat from right-wing violence.

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The legacy

Controversy surrounding the legacy

Stieg left no written will, and according to Swedish law, Stieg's full estate was inherited by his father and brother. This sparked a dispute between them and Stieg's life companion Eva Gabrielsson, who was left with nothing. The situation is complicated by the fact that Eva controls the script for the 4th book in the Millennium series.

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Unfinished Manuscript

"I can finish the fourth manuscript"

In the book "Stieg and Moi" that Eva Gabrielsson (Stieg Larsson's life companion) is currently writing together with Marie Francois Colombani, Eva says that she could finish the fourth manuscript that Stieg and she had already started working on.  She also reveals the swedish title of the fourth manuscript, "Guds hämd" (English translation: God's revenge)

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Praised actress in the limelight

Rooney Mara praised as Lisbeth Salander

Ronney Mara has been highly praised for her role as Lisbeth Salander in David Finchers version of "The girl with the dragon tattoo". Mara has in only a few years made it from TV shows like "ER" to become one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses.

 

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Career

A unusual path

There are many ways to become writer, even so, Stieg's path is quite unusual.

He started working at a post office, moving on to a graphic designer job at a news bureau, starting the Expo foundation and working as chief editor. And somewhere in the middle of all this, a great writer steps forward.

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Acknowledged actress

Noomi Rapace

In the original movies based on the Millennium trilogy, Lisbeth Salander is played by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace. Noomi is a well acknowledged actress with fifteen years of experience as an actress.

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Millennium Stockholm Map

Millennium Stockholm Map

Get to know Stieg Larsson's Stockholm

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Life companion

Eva Gabrielsson

In this interview by the Swedish national televsision, Stieg Larsson's life companion Eva Gabrielsson reveals the truth behind the man that was Stieg Larsson. She discusses her claims in the controversy surrounding Stieg's legacy as well as her claims for a part of the royalty.

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Hollywood movies

Remake by David Fincher

Columbia Pictures has bought the rights to make a Hollywood version of the Millenium films. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara have been apointed to play Michael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. Signed on to the project is also the writer Steve Zaillian (Se7en) and director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7ven).

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Personal background

A life under constant threat

During the last 15 years of his life, he and his life companion Eva Gabrielsson lived under constant threat from right-wing violence. He regarded his writing of detective novels as relaxing. Keeping track of loose ends, characters and made up conspiracies posedno problem since it was, after all, fiction.

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The trilogy

Millennium trilogy

Stieg Larsson had always been interested in detective novels, and he was very familiar the works of Elizabeth George and Minette Walters. He knew what ingredients a good detective story should have, and he even reluctantly decided to spice it up with a bit of sex as it would probably please his readers.

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Discussion

Discussion boards

Stieglarsson.com features a huge forum filled with ongoing discussions on our beloved writer.

Is your prime interest the movies being made? Or are you a huge fan of Lisbeth Salander?

Take a look and join the discussion!

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I have just completed The first book in the trillogy and am excited to begin the second.....I am sure I am not the only one who is interested in the reference to "Lennart Hyland's rhyming alphabet" in chapter 19. I can find information on Mr. Hyland, but my internet search for more details about this rhyme reveals nothing but other seekers of information. Could someone help me convince Salander to do some research for me?

- Debbie in Sherman, TX, 27 June 2010

Well, Lisbeth Salander would of course do this better but still I have found some about it, and I´m so old that I have watch Hyland´s Corner when I was a child and I can remember the feeling and atmosphere of those corners.

There is not much on the Internet but I have made an attempt to translate a blog post by Kalle Lind from his blog "En man med skägg" (A man with beard).

I think Stieg Larson was much a child of Hyland's Sweden, and that he refers to Hyland and his Alphabetic book is perhaps no coincidence. I think the atmosphere in the Millennium books often finds inspiration in a past Sweden when Lennart Hyland was the unchallenged king of the Kingdom, and left his marks in those who grew up during that era, and so did the whole zeitgeist of the sixties of course.

For those interested, here you are:

/One of many crazy stunts in Hyland´s Corner was the ABC book, released in 1966, where viewers contributed with a clever two line rhym to each letter and the greatest contemporary artists (Olle Olsson Tapiola etc.) to illustrate.

A typical prestige projects at a time when Lennart Hyland was God, The Jester in the box (Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt), his Prophet and his Swedish people more or less voluntary apostles. "Laj laj laj laj laj" was the hymn, and a studio with the typical modernist 60´s art was the sanctuary. SVT (Swedish public TV) - or SR as it was still called - was a government better than the state and a theological preacher larger than the state church.

Hylands Corner is, with modern eyes, the bizarre meeting between the Modern and the Conservative. While the program's (unspoken) were to be the campfire around which the Swedish people could warm themselfs and get confirmation that Sweden was the world's best, and while most modest, country, resulted in a constant room for future progressive movements.

Lennart Hyland was a conservative sports journalist from Tranås. He thought precocious children and people who offered themself by singing a bit bad were the most festive that existed. He was frisky at the thought of sending innocent people out in the city to get back with eight feet copper pipe, a thimble, two potatoes and a man named Lindström.

The program he was most proud to have initiated, was the religious corner, (some corners were theme-corners) where six million Swedes spent their Saturday night to see Lapp Lisa (old religious woman) singing Non-conformist doggerels.

Paradoxically, he invited the avant-garde artists Öyvind Fahlström and Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd to organize a "happening" in the studio, complete with concretiztic poetry and audience participation.

And Yngve Gamlin - one of the Swedish entertainment history's most lovable and crazy free minded madcap - had a free hand to come in and cut Hylands desktop to pieces .

Hylands ABC-book is an excellent representative of the remarkable spirit that prevailed in Sweden, boosted by the world's largest growth and by the golden middle way, which meant that large industries could flourish, and the Swedish state allocate tax revenues.

Here is a curiosity in everything new - lookup words are things like "astronaut", "emancipation debate", "rural", "p-spot" and "supermarket" - coupled with a constant skepticism. Especially if it was Anglo-Saxon.

In B, we read so clearly about a strange phenomenon threatening the meantime:

Beatles är en sorts orkester

vars frisör har tagit semester

(Beatles is a kind of orchestra

whose hairdresser has taken vacation)

Note the reactionary questioning the "a kind of orchestra." An even more openly conservative approach, we find the D:

Dekolletage är nuförtiden:

sidenkläder - utan siden

(Decolletage is nowadays:

silk clothing - without silk)

Warning: contains a phrase "nowadays" you can be sure it is a bitter one.

My absolute favorite find, however, is N. Recall that it´s the 60´s, housewives are becoming less after an absolute peak in the fifties (such as Hyland had to arrange a "wifefreeday", when the remarkable happened that their men were looking after their own children and cook their own food - for a whole day!), the industry eats up so many people that even suspicious creatures such as women and foreigners are employed.

In this daunting environment, where not all children had a mother who was standing at the stove from early morning just to cook pancakes and blow them, and where all men couldn´t ride home at lunch and be fed. In this nightmare society for a Christian Democrat, It was quite customary for the Swedish state television to publish a book with the following verse:

Nyckelbarnet sa till pappan:

Far, jag såg din fru i trappan!

(Key child told her father,

Father, I saw your wife on the stairs!)

A joke, of course - symptomatic signed "Mom in Vällingby"(see endnote*). But behind the joke brooding the horror vision of a society where children no longer recognize their working mothers (however, the "key children" - that are, children who had to have their own home key because no mother stood and welcomed theme with open arms - identified their dads without problems).

At the same time - to the Swedish people's defense - should be told other verses that complicates the picture. The letter "M finds cold what we still know without really addressing:

Maskulinum är ett kön

som har mycket högre lön

(Masculine is a gender

which have much higher salary)

And the U is an attitude which belongs to the past. Recall that this was a time when the target was 1% of Swedish GDP would go to development assistance. An ambition - to the chagrin opinion - just nearly met:

U-landshjälp är att försaka

då och då en pepparkaka

(Developing country assistance is to sacrifice

occasionally a gingerbread)

I had not wanted to live in the past. I have always thought that Mr Hyland has something nasty about him. I get irritated when I think of the contemporary state monopoly thought they could be entitled to. It wasn´t better in the past. It's better now./

From: //kulturarbete.blogspot.com/2007/11/hylands-abc-bok.html

* Vällingby(Gruel Village) - The idea was to build a new kind of neighborhood that would not become a dormitory town but a so-called ABC-town with jobs, housing and center in the same area. As Sweden's first ABC-town Vällingby got a lot of attention, even internationally.

(Wikipedia)

- Lennart E, 29 June 2010

uhm..."thanks", but I'm not sure this is exactly what I was looking for. I have often found Wilipedia to be quite verbose while minimally helpful. and sometimes absolutely incorrect. At least the name of the book is more clear. Thanks for trying. Long live Salander!

- Debbie in Sherman, TX, 3 July 2010

My post was about Lennart Hyland's rhyming alphabet that is mentioned in the book. I have noticed that many wonder about it and therefore I wrote a translation of a blog where a man explains very well what it was and what it was about. The article from Wikipedia explains what Vällingby (Gruel Villiage) is and I think it´s correct. Too bad if the information didn´t fit you but others might have an interest in or pleasure from it.

- Lennart E, 3 July 2010

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I love the books i hope the forth one will come out soon because I am in the middle of the hornet,s nest Ingrid Pleas Reply.

- Ingrid Jamieson.To Canada, 26 June 2010

I'm pretty sure there are only 3 books. What fourth book are you talking about?

- Julz, 1 July 2010

There's a 4th, 1/2 finished before he died. I read somewhere his family doesn't want the 4th to be published (finish by someonelse.

- tom, 2 July 2010

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DENNIS.. I found them. LOL Here they are in order:

-The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

- The Girl Who Played With Fire

- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

I need to get my hands on them!

- Terrie B., 22 June 2010

terrie- go to any book store in the world!!!

or you can borrow my set if you want???

- dana reed/boston usa, 2 July 2010

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In what order are his books? I would love to read them.. but want to read them in order. Thanks! :)

- Terrie B., 22 June 2010

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please list the larrson books in sequence

- dennis, 22 June 2010

1 tattoo girl

2 fire girl

3 kicking girl

4 ?? ghostwriter wanted - maybe will explore Camille's life.(Lisbeth's twin sis)

- acm, 16 July 2010

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As a First Generation Swedish/American I have a lot of contact with my Swedish Roots, and I am finding alot of references in the books which I am sure most American readers are not picking up on. That's OK, the stories are fantastic and had to put down anyhow. The intricate interconnections between sub-plot lines are fascinating. I also find the indirect references and connections to Astrid Lingren kind of weird. Hate to think beloved Pipi Longstocking could morph into Lisbeth Salander, even though i love her too.

- TobieTheSwede, 20 June 2010

Do Swedes really drink as much coffee as in Stieg's books suggest? Even the Aussies at the end of the book are portrayed as coffee drinkers - more likely to be beer or tea in the Outback. The Swedish place names lend an air of LOTR to the journey - I like that - Fantastic! as they say in Sweden.

- Greg Kalle Keenan, 16 July 2010

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"He wanted to protect equal rights and fight for democracy and freedom of speech"? He was a communist!!! Strange way to fight for democracy

- JSY Salt Lake CIty, Utah, 19 June 2010

Where are you getting the info that he was a communist? I'm just getting started with the books, but he is an incredible story teller, with fantastic character description and development.

- TobieTheSwede, 20 June 2010

A socialist govt. is totally diff. from communism. Stieg was a liberal socialist.(I am laughing, )There is that L word again.______I hope that mess with Eva works out for her. The only right solution, as Stieg's long time companion!

- Sandy, 3 July 2010

An American definition of Communism = Anyone who is not in the Republican Party and does not believe everything Fox News espouses.

- Greg Kalle Keenan, 16 July 2010

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I've never been so pissed about someone I don't know dying as I am about Stieg Larsson. I'm halfway through Hornets Nest and getting more and more depressed every day! Somebody help me please!

- Joe Nobody Key West Florida USA, 18 June 2010

I just learned that he died. Read all about it! I have finished all three books and it feels pretty empty now!

- Katia, 29 June 2010

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I just want to read the rest. I hate starting a series if i cannot finish it!

- Shauna, 16 June 2010

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I wonder how stiegs brother and father are able ... not to feel shame ... in fact they ignore and deny his last will, why don´t they respect the 32 Years long relationship of stieg larsson with eva gabrielson?

- cloney, 16 June 2010

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