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Stieg's grandfather, an inspiring role model

Stieg Larsson was born in Västerbotten in northern Sweden in 1954. At the time of his birth, his parents were too young and too poor to keep him, so he was raised by his grandparents in a small village in the north of Sweden. Stieg's grandfather, Severin Boström, became the male role model for the young Stieg. Severin was strongly anti-fascist (and during the Second World War he was imprisoned in the work camp in Storsien for his anti-Nazi opinions)*. Had he been Danish, he would no doubt have been placed in a German Concentration Camp. The fate of his grandfather deeply affected and shaped Stieg's character. He wanted to protect equal rights and fight for democracy and freedom of speech in order to prevent history, and what happened to his grand father, from repeating itself.

* Stieg's father, Erland Larsson, says to that nobody in the family can confirm the information about the camp.

Youth, left-wing movement and far travels

When Stieg was nine years old, his grandfather died and he moved to live with his parents and his younger brother. Stieg was given a typewriter for his 12th birthday, and he spent most nights of his youth staying up writing, keeping his family awake with the drumming sound. At 18 years of age he met Eva Gabrielsson at an anti-Vietnam War meeting in Umeå. Eva was to become his life long companion. With some short exceptions, mainly due to the fact that Stieg was sometimes too obsessed with his work, they lived together until Stiegs death the 9th November 2004. After his military service, Stieg travelled in Africa and has been described as "an early backpacker". He rarely had enough money on his travels, in an interview with Norra Västerbotten in 2006, his father describes how he had to work as a dishwasher and sell his clothes to afford a ticket home from Algeria.

Stieg Larsson was also interested in Science Fiction. Among other things was he the chairman of the Scandinavian science fiction society and published two magazines.

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. When a labor-union leader was murdered in his home by neo-Nazis in 1999, the police discovered photos of and information about the couple in the murderer's apartment. So it was not without reason that the couple took precautionary measures. They were never seen together outside the house, they moved mirrors in the hall and they always kept the blinds down. Those are just a few examples. Stieg was an expert in the area, and wrote a book of instructions on how journalists should respond to threats for the Swedish Union of Journalists ("Överleva Deadline", 2000).

Writing as a relaxation

The situation created a contrast between Stieg's work at Expo and his night-time novel writing. 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 and no one would threaten either Eva or himself because of it.

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excellent enjoyed it very much

- lynn, 30 September 2014

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Such a great loss. I'm reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and loving it. I want it to last forever but get to the ending, too! His description of the different towns and cities in Sweden is fascinating and so precise -- the names of the cafes and foodstuffs add another layer of interest in an amazing trilogy. Character development is phenomenal. I'll be sad when I'm done but at least I'll get some sleep then. For now, I'm losing plenty of that.

- KayMc, 27 September 2014

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Am just starting the third novel of his Lisbeth Salander series, brilliant! Too bad to loose such s talent and activest.

- , 26 August 2014

I, too am reading the third novel, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. What an extraordinary man, Stieg Larsson was. His methods of twisting & turning a plot is indeed brillant!! Almost don't want the story to end. Cheers--that he gave the world so much in his short life!!!

- Katyhleen, 3 September 2014

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Sentí un inmenso vacío al saber que Larsson murió con la idea de dejar mas que 3 libros. La trilogía es espectacular, no me canse de leerla mas de 3 veces.

- Paco, 1 July 2014

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Fui tocada profundamente por su escritura. Lisbeth Salender es mi heroína y personaje favorito de todos los tiempos.

- jenn, 28 April 2014

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- It is really a nice and helpful piece of info. Im glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing. abdgbgddgbfegcbf, 22 April 2014

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I've only just discovered Stieg's books and did not know until now what his politics were. Eva, I am sorry for your loss of Stieg and your struggles with his family while you grieve.

- Chari, 5 September 2013


- Dolores Sargeant, 10 November 2013

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Here I am 80 years old and fallen in love! What a wonderful human being Stieg must have been....

- Patty j, 20 August 2013

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I was so sadden when I read that Larsson had died. He had such a gift. Lisbeth is such a complicated character. His characters became real to me. I worried about what would become of Lisbeth. I have not been so moved by a character since, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

I am so sorry Eva. Greed is a terrible thing. His heart would be broken all over again if he knew how his family is treating her. Of course, I would love to read the fourth book but that is all she has left of him. I hope she will stand her ground.

- pamela, 8 July 2013

I agree with your comments Pamela and it is sad that such a good author has passed away and so tragically too. But I am now intrigued as to who has actually written the books as he did not seem to have that talent, perhaps he would have the plots and someone else was actually writing, possibly Eva with some more outside help? It doesn't matter in the end as the books are superb and am sure that not all of it is fiction, such things do happen and am sure have happened, but just not with the same results or outcomes. The research for it must be fantastic and one would need a character like Salander's to do it, so maybe she does exist too in some form. Truly amazing books and I hope the legal battles over the 4th book are overcome somehow and Eva gets her deserved share of the proceeds somehow. What a shame their laws are not the same as in N.America or elsewhere where a couple living together are considered equal to being a married couple. But that is life and it makes it interesting for others who are not going through it. I do feel for her though and as someone said, hope Justice will Prevail! Amen.

- Rory, 1 August 2014

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- , 4 June 2013

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