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Left-wing activism and anti-war protests

After finishing school and his military service, Stieg Larsson worked a couple of years at a post office. During these years in the mid-seventies, he was an active member of the Swedish left-wing movement which flourished during these years. He edited a Trotskyite magazine, and he took a great interest in the ongoing war in Vietnam.

Private mapping of extremists

1977, Stieg Larsson started working as a graphic designer at TT, a multimedia news provider in Sweden, a job he kept for the following 22 years. As the seventies passed, Stieg Larsson's interest gradually turned more towards right-wing extremism, an interest which had started with a school project on the subject and then continued to inspire him for the rest of his life. When he was not at his work at TT, he worked on a private mapping of right-wing extremism in Sweden. In 1991, his research resulted in his first book "Right-wing extremism" ("Extremhögern") which he wrote in cooperation with Anna-Lena Lodenius, a Swedish writer specialized in autonomous and national extremist groups. In an interview she says that he had plans on writing a series of detective novels already back in the early 1990's, but it would take another ten years for him to start writing fiction.

The Expo foundation

As a response to the book "Right-wing extremism", a neo-Nazi newspaper published an article in 1993. In the article, both Larsson and Lodenius were presented with their pictures, addresses and telephone numbers, and the finishing lines raised the question whether "he should be allowed to continue his work, or if something should be done". The publisher of the newspaper was condemned to 4 months of imprisonment. However, this episode did not scare Stieg Larsson, instead it convinced him to step up his struggle. Stieg Larsson had since the early 80's worked as a Scandinavian correspondent for the British anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, and in 1995 he was the main force behind the founding of the similar Swedish magazine Expo in 1995. For two years, he combined the two full time jobs before he finally quit TT in 1997 to put all his effort into Expo. From 1999 to his death, he was the chief editor of the magazine.

A classic workaholic

When you look at the combination of working at Expo with writing books on right-wing extremism, holding lectures for international politicians, police forces and numberless youths, writing his detective novels at night, smoking 60 or more hand-rolled cigarettes a day and skipping most meals, the picture of a classic workaholic appears. In an article in the Swedish newspaper Expressen, the journalist, co-worker and close friend of Stieg's, Kurdo Baksi verifies this, "He used to come home at four-five in the morning. At that time had he also worked on his story about Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. "It will be better next year", he (Stieg) said brightly.

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Did Steig Larsson have material for 10 to 15 more books? Please let me know.Thank you. e-mail:

- Valerie Stelmachowski, 15 Mars 2012

he only had enough for 10 books but he was looking to write 10 of them with lisbeth and mikeal in them

- jds, 3 februari 2013

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I wish he could have seen his books published and the impact they've had on so many people.

- Katrina, 10 January 2012

I agree.

- Glauce, 15 January 2012

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wait did he ever live in the us? or just in sweden the whole time...?

- Auden, 21 December 2011

Only in Sweden. His books were translated.

- Em, 30 January 2012

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I have just finished reading Stieg Larsson's trilogy. It is so refreshing to read a thriller that takes a feminist/socialist point of view. In the UK, you see/read so many one dimensional images of men and women in the right wing media, it's nice to read/see something that can challenge that perspective.

- Margaret Oldfield/UK 30 May 2011, 30 May 2011

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chicken is pretty cool.....

- Jessica May/USA., 21 April 2011

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I agree.

- W, 30 January 2012

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how did he die?

-, 5 February 2011

Since he smoked 60 hand rolled cigarettes a day and rarely ate, have to assume he died of lung cancer.

- Robbie, 6 Mars 2011

He died here at the Expo office by a heart-attack.

- Kristina, 13 April 2011

he had very poor health and he died of a major heart attack while constantly climbing up the stairs at work because the elevator there was broken.

- Auden, 21 December 2011

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Stieg Larsson, how much I regret that such an outstanding author had still so much tp write and give to this world. Thank you for writing about women and about so much that the world has often ignored.

- , 17 December 2010

Agreed. In the Larsson trilagy, the female charactors' insights continually drive the narrative. He was a true feminist.

- Marci Morrison, 29 December 2010

Agreed What else did Larsson write

- Jenny Eykamp, 14 April 2011

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Things that stand out about Stieg Larsson:

1. He could really stick with things. His love with his lifelong companion, his expertise with anti-Nazism, his dedication to writing--all began in his youth and continued unabated for his entire life.

2. The man was a tireless worker.

3. He was a truly good human being.

4. His ceaseless work did and did not reward him in his own lifetime--but his legacy is truly a worldwide gift to everyone else.

Rest in peace, Mr. Larsson. You are missed

- D C W, 16 December 2010

Amen, brother. Amen.

- , 2 August 2013

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I am a 64 year old man, fairly well educated and a voracious reader. In all my years I have rarely been so enthralled with the writing of one particular author. My favorites have been Truman Capote for "In Cold Blood" the first book that kept me up all night and missing classes in college. I could not put that down. "The Source" by James Michener, "Trinity" and others by Leon Uris, "Gone With the Wind", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and only a few others did that. I first saw the Swedish movie of "...Dragon Tattoo." Next the sequel, "...Played With Fire" and then while traveling in Europe, I bought "---Hornet's Nest" which I read in 2 days. I bought the trilogy in hard back and just finished "Dragon Tattoo" in record time adoring the style, depth of character, enormity of the plotline and more. I have just begun reading "...Played with Fire" and cannot wait for the American version of the first book and whatever version of the last. I LOVE this guy's writing. What a loss to the world of an outstanding story teller.

- Bruce W. Adams, 26 October 2010

I have just discovered Stieg Larson and read all 3 books twice within 10 days. The first reading gave me the storylines and I needed to get over the shocks constantly introduced throughout. The second reading allowed me to REALLY read the books. I have read all the books you stated above (I am a few years younger than you) and I think these 3 books will stand out alongside many of the great classics - even though they are "just" crime novels. It holds its own against the great revenge novel - Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo". The tragedy for me (and I am sure for Larson and his other fans) is - THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER BOOK!! I cannot go to the bookshop in hope of seeing another release on the shelf. Furthermore - if Larson was even a fraction of the Blomkwist character I would definitely be in love with him.

- DB Marquis (South Africa), 28 Mars 2012

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