Sweden has no “automatic right of inheritance” provision for common-law spouses, so Larsson’s brother and father have come to control his lucrative literary estate. Gabrielsson’s book, “‘There Are Things I Want You to Know’ About Stieg Larsson and Me,” is an attempt to regain custody of Larsson’s legacy, not only from his family but also from a world hungry to commercialize his every aspect, with films both Swedish and American, companion books and journalistic examinations of the “Girl” phenomenon and the man who created it.
Famous only in death, Larsson was a fervent feminist, an author of numerous books and articles about right-wing Swedish extremism, and a socialist to his core. As Gabrielsson explains, much of his life’s work was embodied in Expo, a small political magazine that struggled to stay afloat. The crime novels were “like therapy,” she writes. “He was describing Sweden the way it was and the way he saw the country: the scandals, the oppression of women, the friends he cherished and wished to honor.”
Fans of his books looking for an intimate peek into the life of a man who summoned a dark, scary version of Sweden will not be disappointed, but that understanding does not come easily. The book is a short, highly emotional tour though a widow’s grief and dispossession, and the details of the couple’s life together are jarringly juxtaposed with blood feuds and score-settling.
That is not to say Gabrielsson is an unreliable narrator — the truth of what she says seems to come off every page — just that she is a very difficult one to follow. She lurches from describing the man she loved to the physical and political milieu they moved through in ways that hint at connections rather than making them. But the danger lurking around every corner in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and its siblings can be found here as well. Gabrielsson writes that neo-Nazis left death threats on the couple’s answering machine and sent bullets in the mail, and suggests that part of the reason the two of them never married was that it would have made Larsson an easier target for his opponents on the right.
In the main, the things in “‘There Are Things I Want You to Know’” will be of interest to Larsson completists and obsessives — readers who care about details like which coffee shops in the fiction were also part of Larsson’s daily life. (“Nowadays I never drink coffee at home by myself,” Gabrielsson notes ruefully. “I’ve switched to tea.”) People with an adjacency to fame often try to glom onto a piece of it, but Gabrielsson is up to something more ambitious and personal. To everyone else, Larsson came out of nowhere, but she knows better and suggests that the Millennium trilogy is of a piece with the rest of his life.
While the novels observe some conventions of the crime genre — mysteries are fashioned, and head feints keep readers on their toes — as a whole they often break with custom. In particular, women, who often serve as mere accessories in fictions pivoting around conspiracy and crime, were fully drawn by Larsson, whether victims or perpetrators. Lisbeth Salander, damaged and secretive, emerges as a bisexual, punk-rock Pippi Longstocking who exacts revenge with precision and alacrity. She’s a sexy, vengeful archangel who refuses to be objectified or owned.
Mikael Blomkvist, the other hero of the trilogy, is the crusading journalist who fights under onerous circumstances to find the truth. To her credit, Gabrielsson makes it clear that Larsson was no Blomkvist. One of the more remarkable aspects of her odd, idiosyncratic book is that she goes to some length to show how different Larsson was from his literary confection. Yes, he was a dedicated journalist, a self-defined feminist and a man who believed that corporate self-dealing tore at the social contract — he was also, as Gabrielsson points out, “constantly drinking coffee, smoking and working like a fiend, but the resemblance basically stops there.”
Read the entire article at the New York Times website.]]>
When Stieg Larsson died in 2004 at the age of 50 in Sweden, he left behind a puzzle almost as dark and just as convoluted as those found in his novels The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. Or, so goes the luridly thrilling story of the now famously dead and famously wronged author, who never officially married his long-time partner, which led to the profits and, more crucially, the rights of his Millennium Trilogy going to his estranged brother and father instead.
What’s ostensibly missing in the still-churning legend of Larsson, and revealed in his widowed partner Eva Gabrielsson’s memoir-cum-treatise of their life and her legal battle (it was first released this winter in both Swedish and French) is the fact that such real-life dramatics have always closely surrounded the trilogy. Gabrielsson writes, of a fictional crime, “Everything of this nature described in the Millennium trilogy has happened at one time or another to a Swedish citizen, journalist, politician, public prosecutor, unionist, or policeman. Nothing was made up.”
It’s more of the same, really, and she knows; she was there. In the first half of “There Are Things I Want You To Know”, Gabrielsson explains who Larsson was by explaining who she is – an architect, a collaborator and, apparently, an archetypical alpha-wife of a messy writer – and who they were together.
The story of their lives and relationship will be revelatory for Trilogy obsessives connecting the dots between Larsson and Gabrielsson, the dragon-tattooed Lisbeth Salander and the intrepid journo Mikael Blomkvist, but their almost-marriage contains nothing unusual for a decidedly nerdy couple occupied with projects, activism and travel. There’s no sense in Gabrielsson’s memoir of anything other than mundane commitment, except for the two times she moved out to make a point about Larsson’s long hours.
There is a bittersweet sting in the memoir of the times when they were about to get married, and didn’t, always thwarted by the responsibilities that attend a life like theirs: committed, exhausting, fervent. Before his very sudden death, Larsson was about to form a company in both of their names for the book’s profits: He died without doing it. Until he gained weight in middle age, he wore a ring.
If the book tends toward hero worship – surely Larsson was a good man, but caffeine and pizza couldn’t have been his only failings – it was savvy of Gabrielsson and her co-writer, French Elle columnist Marie-Françoise Colombani, to devote so much space to biography. Larsson’s life story confirms, unequivocally, that the ever-politicized writer would have wanted the proceeds of the Trilogy to benefit his partner and his activist legacy as he’d planned.
It also provides stunning, strong explications of Larsson’s ideologies, most notably his feminism. Gabrielsson writes: “What more beautiful homage could Stieg pay to women than to make them heroines in a feminist crime novel? And to show them as he saw them: brave, free, strong enough to change their world and refuse to be victims.” And, in the same passage, his taste for revenge: “As for the murderers, Stieg’s indictment of them in the trilogy is encoded in verses from the Bible.”
All of this so ably justifies dedicating the second part of the book to a detailed chronology of the legal machinations that followed Larsson’s death. Of the law that has left her with almost nothing, Gabrielsson writes, “When one unmarried partner dies, the other is abruptly stripped of all the couple has built up together, and is thereby prevented from developing their joint creation. And when this legacy is handed over to people who have had nothing to do with it, this is not only immoral but also detrimental to the creative elements in society, since it’s the passive who win and the active who lose.”
In this book, and in the case, Gabrielsson is far more concerned about the fate of the unpublished fourth novel, changes to the first three and the commercialization of the books that Larsson’s (enterprising; opportunistic) father and brother have authorized.
As a legal drama, it’s compelling. As a story of two lives entwined, for three decades of working toward something that was never shared, it’s even more.]]>
Now, she tells of their 32 years together, of his sudden death in 2004 at 50, of her loss of stewardship of his $100 million literary estate that, according to archaic Swedish inheritance laws, goes to his estranged father and brother. On an American book tour that has become a media event, Ms. Gabrielsson spoke to the Wall Street Journal, about her life and her book, on Thursday, before being interviewed at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y by feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
What was the inspiration for the Millennium Trilogy?
On our 2002 vacation, while I was working on my manuscript, Stieg was so bored, I reminded him of a piece he’d written in 1997 about an old man who got flowers each birthday: Who’s that man? Who’s sending the flowers? Why? Thinking of answers to those questions led Stieg to write the first book ["The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"]. He’d been searching for an outlet for the desperation he felt over the increased violence against women in Sweden.
Is Lisbeth Salander Pippi Longstocking or Stieg?
She is a modern mixture of many people we knew, male and female, she was inspired by Pippi but in some ways, she is Stieg—he was very complex.
As an investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist is also like Stieg?
Blomkvist and Stieg share the same journalistic credo of how to write, how to research. The books give us an insider’s view of how a publication works—they’ve been used as journalism texts! One theme is criticism of Sweden’s media.
What was your contribution to the Millennium Trilogy?
My major contribution was content—our life. The people we met, the things we did, all made their way into the books. Stieg wrote three long books in two years because the material was already there: his varied interests, what I’d been doing, what I’d developed. That’s how a relationship works; some things are your own, but so much knowledge and experience is shared when you’re living together for 32 years, and collaborate. We had continuous interactive discussions, he asked my advice, what I knew, what I explained to him, for example, the locations come straight from my book on Stockholm. Stieg had no time for research. He asked me to read the chapters as he wrote them, to offer advice and suggestions.
What made Stieg a feminist?
He grew up in our harsh North where farmers need cooperation from their wives, their neighbors’ wives; equality between the sexes is the basis for survival when there’s no money. He saw strong women. His closest childhood friend was a girl. At 14, he saw other friends gang-raping a woman but couldn’t stop them. He was not afraid of that female side which we all have—you see both sides in Lisbeth and in Blomkvist.
Why didn’t he make a will?
In Sweden, everything is distributed by law so less than 20%—usually the wealthy—make wills. Even those aren’t properly witnessed and may be invalid. We had no money. Six months after he signed the contract with his publishers, he died. There was no time to think about it while he was editing the books for publication. The publisher was to help set up a company for us as co-owners so the money would automatically go to the survivor. But, the advance was not paid until after Stieg’s death—to his father and brother.
Why did you not marry?
We’d planned to—we bought rings in ’83—but Stieg was under death threats and did not want to expose me to danger. Marriage is not common in Sweden. But the cohabitation law, based on age-old situations when land or cattle would pass down to relatives who were also farmers, is outdated. Now, with knowledge industries, we’re in another world—intellectual property. My earlier book Cohabitation shows the danger to society: Knowledge is prevented from being passed on to people who could develop it. Members of Parliament are bringing proposals to change the law, or, at least, to allow such cases to go to court. Inheritance law for cohabitants does not allow me to sue. Women are affected—they pay for all essentials; guys buy things in their name, then take them away in a split-up.
The women’s movement doesn’t help?
Since the ’80s, there’s no women’s movement, it’s disappeared.
What do you want?
I’m fighting to be Stieg’s literary executor—sole manager of his literary estate for 20% of royalties for work I’d actually be doing. So much of all his work came from our discussions that I want to protect my ideas, my values, my thoughts.
They offered you $3 million and a seat on their board…
The money was not a gift, it was a settlement that would muzzle me. They could kick me off the board, I’d have no control because they could overrule me and go with the business partners for lucrative but exploitative commercial deals.
You performed a pagan curse for vengeance. Did Stieg share that value?
We have no rituals for desperation and grief. I needed to express rage and sorrow over Stieg’s life being cut short, outrage at his being used by others to further their careers. “Vengeance” can take many forms: Stieg did not accept being stepped upon, he believed in fighting back. (Lisbeth is a goddess of vengeance!) I’m not violent, I don’t believe in killing people, but standing up for yourself, speaking out against injustice, is another form of vengeance. That black poetry eased my grief—offered our friends relief—we started to breathe, to cry. Grief can be rage against the universe: Why me? What did he do to be cut down so early? I looked for others’ rituals—even to have a Kadish read.
What’s happening to the fourth novel?
It’s a fragment that goes back and forth, Stieg wasn’t sure where it was going, there’s no outline, he kept it all in his head. It’s not right to ghostwrite a dead author’s work. We all have to come to terms with Stieg’s death.]]>
What is one of the more unexpected things your memoir says about the creation of the books?
The books started out of boredom. We were on vacation and he was pacing around with nothing to do. He said he had been thinking about a short piece he wrote in 1997 about a man who receives a flower in the mail each Christmas. He was wondering if there was more to that story, what was really going on.
How do you move forward with your life after losing your partner?
Everyone first of all survives, and second lives again. I had to do what most married couples don’t have to do. I had to rebuild my life. I had to start from scratch, more or less. The five stages of grief don’t come in stages, they come all at once, and then you move backwards and forwards through them.
What did you love most about Mr. Larsson and about the work you created together?
His curiosity and his enthusiasm. It didn’t matter what we were doing, he approached everything with enthusiasm. The essence of the book is about empowering people. It all starts with one person who has a brilliant idea and works at it.]]>
Any good Norse saga features an intractable family feud, death and usually a legal dispute. The tale of Stieg Larsson has it all.
Given the huge posthumous success of his Millennium trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), it’s not surprising a bitter postscript to Larsson’s life has become as gripping as his fiction.
The novels have sold more than 27 million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into successful films in Sweden. The Hollywood version of the first book, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, hits theatres this December.
Sadly, Larsson’s partner of 32 years, Eva Gabrielsson, won’t see a dime or have a hand in managing his literary legacy. Her new memoir is a long-anticipated broadside at her main foes in her protracted legal battle, Larsson’s father Erland and brother Joakim.
Larsson died of a heart attack in November 2004. But Swedish law grants no marital status to what in Canada would be common-law couples.
Now, Larsson’s father and brother — whom he barely knew as a child, having been raised by his maternal grandparents in northern Sweden until he was eight years old — have claimed all rights to his novels. And to Gabrielsson’s chagrin, Larsson’s publisher Norstedts has gone along with it.
Gabrielsson’s memoir is full of vignettes of Larsson’s life, from his childhood to their time together in social and political struggles. Fans of his novel will delight in the reasons why he chose details for his fiction. A crucial Ford in one novel is based on his grandfather’s car; he set a pivotal scene aboard a sailboat because he and Gabrielsson spent many hours sailing around Sweden’s islands; and many characters were based on real people they both knew.
The early separation between Larsson and his parents engendered a lasting emotional distance. According to Gabrielsson, the second and final time Larsson’s brother Joakim set foot in his apartment was the day of his funeral.
Unfortunately, Gabrielsson and Larsson never married, despite living together for 30 years, in order to escape detection by his political enemies in far right and neo-Nazi groups.
Thus, watching the legal train wreck over Larsson’s legacy unfold in Gabrielsson’s account is as gripping as anything Larsson himself wrote.
Larsson’s father Erland and brother Joakim barely come into the story until Larsson dies, which may be the most damning aspect of the book. And then, despite protests they “didn’t want any part of Stieg’s estate,” it dawns on Gabrielsson, reeling from shock at her partner’s death, they aren’t just slow to respond to her attempts to straighten out Larsson’s affairs. They’re secretly freezing her out.
The ironies are cruel. Larsson had actually composed a will in 1977, before leaving for a dangerous sojourn in Africa. In it he left everything to Gabrielsson, but did not have it witnessed. She only discovered the document when looking for an old letter of his to read at his memorial service.
Larsson had also eagerly agreed, on the advice of Norstedt, to set up a company owned by himself and Gabrielsson, to control his rights and royalties. But she learned after his death he never got around to doing it.
It would be easy to forgive her a little bitterness, yet the memoir is largely free of it. She prefers to skewer Erland and Joakim with frank accounts of their deception and arrogance. Outrageously, Erland suggests (and later repeats publicly) their legal problems could be solved if Gabrielsson would agree to marry him.
She also disparages false friends who emerged after Larsson’s death who “trot out apocryphal memories and bizarre stories about Stieg for the media or in books.” It’s hard not to wonder if Kurdo Baksi’s memoir, Stieg Larsson, My Friend, published by Norstedts (Gabrielsson’s, significantly, is not), is a target here.
Gabrielsson also asserts she has the manuscript for Larsson’s unfinished fourth novel, The Vengeance of the Gods, and that she’s quite capable of finishing it. That manuscript is the only card she holds in negotiations with Erland and Joakim.
Sadly, despite his death, the tale of Stieg Larsson is not over. Though there are other stories of his life out there — Baksi’s, as well as Barry Forshaw’s biography The Man Who Left Too Soon — Gabrielsson’s is likely the most personal we’ll see. But there will be no complete picture of his life and legacy until the dispute over his work is settled.
And like any Norse saga, it may take a generation or two. Gabrielsson isn’t likely to give up. “I know how [Stieg] would react in every situation I’m facing today,” she writes. “He would fight.”]]>
“After one year
I wait for a call that never comes
His number in my cell phone
I wait for a smile I never get
His photo on my wall
I wait for a caress I never feel
His jacket in my closet
But I hear his voice answer me
When my despair is at its worst.”
To an audience of 220 assembled at the House of Sweden Wednesday evening, Eva Gabrielsson read those words from her new book, “There Are Things I Want You To Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me.
National Public Radio host Diane Rehm was invited to talk with the woman who shared her life for 32 years with Swedish journalist and author Stieg Larsson until his untimely death at 50 from a heart attack in 2004.
Not living to see the success of the publication of his crime novel trilogy, the Millennium series (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest), his longtime partner is now embroiled in an intellectual property fight with Larsson’s father and brother over the commercialization of his work, and for the rights to publish a fourth unfinished book.
Combating social injustice, specifically sexual violence, Sweden’s Neo-Nazis and racists, are themes woven into Larsson’s writings, and the reason he chose to protect Gabrielsson. “We bought rings in 1983. I have the rings. Now I wear both of them. He was trying to protect me by not marrying me. The right to information, for Steig and me, everyone can find out anything. They could find out. We arranged it that we weren’t married.”
Diane: “You’re in this gorgeously created embassy and yet it was that very government that prohibited you from rightfully proclaiming your inheritance. There must be some conflicting feelings.”
Eva: “It’s a personal tragedy. That’s why I wrote a book about co-habitation. It’s a tragedy for the individuals, a tragedy for society. You look at the paper instead of the reality.”
Written as a memoir, Gabrielsson recounts the details of their daily life over three decades, many of which made their way into Larsson’s writings, from their caffeinated talks, to friends and foes. From their first meeting at age 18 at a political rally against the Vietnam war, they were together, as lovers and comrades.
Diane: “What do you think of the Vietnam memorial?”
Eva: “Extreme sadness. … Sweden was one of the countries where Americans came. We knew what this had done to them. You really should think about it when you start a war.”
A practicing architect, author, political activist and protector of Larsson’s legacy, Gabrielsson expressed pride over the Spanish government’s posthumous award to Larsson for his work to combat violence against women. “Spain passed a law making it mandatory that perpetrators of crimes had to stand trial within 48 hours. In Sweden it takes a year and a half. The Millenium [series] made the Spanish people understand.”
Diane: “I think you’ve also brought Sweden into a different light. You and Stieg shared similar beginnings, similar respect and understandings for family and yet, he really for quite awhile had no parents … What about you?”
Eva: “My parents were divorced in 1989. My grandparents were next door. He was also raised by an older generation with 19th century values. You are always part of the community. That’s how people survived. Something in the culture was passed on to us, long-time sustainable values.”
Diane: “You talked about how Sweden changed after Vietnam, how difficult it was for Stieg to speak out about the evolution of Sweden. We in the West have thought of it as a peaceful place. These novels bring out a whole new impression.”
Eva: “The Millenium books balance out the dream castle fantasy. It’s good for us to know that. We really want justice, to move forward as a country. The extreme right causes us to catch voices of complaint. We find scapegoats for problems that lie somewhere else.”
Diane: “The legal case you have between Stieg’s father and brother. They broke off talks? Profits from 45 million copies of the Millenium trilogy. Where are the monies going?”
Eva: “To his father and brother.”
Diane: “How do you think you’ll be received when you return to Sweden?”
Eva: “I think I can handle it whatever it is.”
Asked by an audience member about a fourth book, Gabrielsson responded, “It’s not a finished book. Millenium fans will have to face the fact that I’ve had to. He’s dead.”]]>
About this show: Seven years ago, Swedish journalist and author Stieg Larsson suffered a heart attack. He died without ever knowing the success of his Millennium trilogy. The books – “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” – have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. Larsson’s longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson, says the books could not have been written without her, and she’s now locked in a bitter dispute with the author’s family. They disagree on the rights and income from the books, and the publication of a possible fourth book. Gabrielsson has written a new memoir in which she details her version of the story. The book is called “’There Are Things I Want You to Know’ About Stieg Larsson and Me.”]]>
When Larsson died at age 50 — he had a heart attack after climbing up the stairs to the offices of Expo, the antifascist magazine he cofounded — he could not have had any idea that his Millennium Trilogy of crime novels, which he had just delivered to the publisher, was to become the biggest publishing franchise since Harry Potter. “I think Stieg would have been as surprised as everyone else,” says Gabrielsson, 57. “We had hoped that the books would be a success” — a way to pay off their mortgage — “but this was so beyond.”
Now, just six years later, Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest have sold more than 50 million copies and spawned three Swedish films and a popular television miniseries. The American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, opens in December, and two sequels will follow. Larsson’s estate was recently estimated to be worth more than $40 million.
But the woman who shared his life for 32 years — Gabrielsson — was left with virtually nothing. “The decision not to marry worked too well,” she says, her voice clipped with emotion. Like one of Larsson’s characters, caught in a web of intrigue, Gabrielsson doesn’t have anything left to hold on to but Larsson’s unfinished fourth novel — believed to be on his laptop, the whereabouts of which she won’t reveal. She says she’ll give it up when she gets her due.
Read the rest of the article. On stands early July in the August 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.]]>
Ms. Gabrielsson said she has not read the fourth novel, and was evasive about the whereabouts of the computer [containing it]. She has estimated that the manuscript consists of roughly 200 pages, based on how much Larsson had finished at the end of their vacation in August 2004, and from their conversations she knows what it’s about. But all she would say is that it’s set in Canada, and that once again it features Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. “Oh yes, they’re still there,” she said, laughing.
A year ago, Ms. Gabrielsson was adamant that she didn’t want the fourth novel ever to be published. In her book she appears open to the possibility of finishing it herself. “I cannot tell exactly what part of ‘The Millennium Trilogy’ comes from Stieg and what comes from me,” she writes, adding: “Stieg and I shared a common language we often wrote together.”
But more recently she has seemed of two minds. “I’ve been wondering if it’s such a good thing to finish something like that,” she said on Monday. “Nobody needs any more money — that’s one thing. And it must be any author’s nightmare to know that characters you created might be used by ghostwriters. It’s a dilemma. I don’t think it’s right, but at the same time I really would like to see what happens to these people.” She paused. “How long are we going to kid ourselves? Stieg is dead. Maybe we just have to accept that — all the readers and me, too.”
(For the rest of the interview with Eva Gabrielsson, please see the New York Times website; you must be a subscriber.)]]>
After finishing Eva Gabrielsson’s new memoir, you do indeed know certain things about Stieg Larsson, her partner of 32 years.
For instance, had the Swedish writer lived to see his Millennium Trilogy published instead of dying of a heart attack at age 50 in 2004, his books probably would still be best sellers in the USA, but Lisbeth Salander wouldn’t be known as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Instead we’d be reading Men Who Hate Women (Larsson’s own title and the one first used by his Swedish publisher).
Why? Because Larsson, who prided himself on his feminist cred, would have considered it demeaning to call a 24-year-old woman a girl. Even a fictional heroine.
Writing in a memorably austere, flinty voice, Gabrielsson has produced neither a tell-all nor some “handmaiden to literary genius” emo-gusher.
You learn that Larsson loved java, sci-fi and investigative journalism. And — to judge by the length of their relationship and one exquisite love letter that she read at his memorial — he loved Gabrielsson, an architect by training.
The couple met in 1972, when both were 18, at a Vietnam War protest, and they remained together until his death. They never married. You learn a lot about his fight against neo-Nazis but nothing about life behind the bedroom door, which is kind of refreshing.
But if you are obsessed with Larsson’s writing, not the man, dig in.
After Larsson was born in 1954, his parents moved 600 miles away for work. He was left with his maternal grandparents in a two-room house on the edge of a forest, without water, electricity, indoor plumbing or heat other than a wood stove.
He loved this world where self-reliance and honesty, not money, were valued, Gabrielsson writes. When he was 9, Larsson rejoined his family, which by then included a younger brother.
His career as a journalist and novelist was equally unconventional. Imagine a Columbia School of Journalism reject without a college degree who works in the graphics department of The New York Times and spends his free time editing a struggling left-wing magazine.
A chain-smoking mystery fan, he relaxed by writing fiction about a computer hacker based on his beloved Pippi Longstocking. (Gabrielsson stresses that the deeply enmeshed couple often wrote together. )
Because they never married, Larsson’s estate went to his brother and father. With each day generating more moolah, how can this trio not work out a compromise?
For Gabrielsson, the battle isn’t about money; it’s about Larsson’s literary inheritance and a missing laptop, which may or may not hold an unfinished fourth novel. Deliberately coy about where the laptop is, Gabrielsson does say the fourth book presents a journey of healing for Lisbeth.
Gabrielsson comes across as rigid, obsessed and humorless but a fierce warrior in fighting for what she sees as justice.
Not unlike Larsson’s own heroine.]]>
From their website: “With his books still haunting the bestseller lists and another film adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo slated to hit theaters later this year, it seems like Stieg Larsson is everywhere. But just who was Stieg Larsson? That is exactly the question Larsson’s lifelong companion, Eva Gabrielsson, sets out to answer in her memoir “There Are Things I Want You To Know” About Stieg Larsson And Me – available from Tantor Audio on June 21 and for pre-order today!
The audio version of There are Things… is narrated by Cassandra Campbell and, according to Tantor, tells the story of Larsson’s relationship with Gabrielsson, of his “lifelong struggle to expose Sweden’s neo-Nazis; of his struggle to keep the magazine he founded, Expo, alive; of his difficult relationships with his immediate family; and of the joy and the relief he discovered writing the Millenium trilogy.”]]>
“Her story is about the life she shared with Stieg Larsson,” according to the Swedish Embassy, which is hosting the Washington, D.C., event, “the man everyone wants to know more about, and about whom so little is known.” But the woman we know even less about also plans to use the trip, according to friends, to discuss issues that matter to her. —Christian Science Monitor on Eva Gabrielsson]]>
“There Are Things I Want You to Know” about Stieg Larsson and Me is a book about politics and love, about coffee and conversation, about writing and friendship, and about Stieg Larsson and Eva Gabrielsson, the woman who shared the Millennium Trilogy author’s life for thirty years.
In honor of the June 21 publication of the book, Seven Stories Press is offering readers of Eva and of Millennium the chance to ask Eva Gabrielsson the questions they’ve always wanted to ask about her life with Stieg, the Millennium trilogy’s genesis and its future, and her thoughts about the meaning of the life’s work she and Stieg shared: the work of their political commitment and action against fascism, political corruption, and the systematic oppression of women, work in which the Millennium books (originally titled “Men Who Hate Women” in Sweden) played only one small part.
Questions for Eva should be posted on Twitter using the hashtag #StiegandEva, (which will also be used to mark media coverage and event notices for the book.) Only questions posted before 11:59 PM on Monday, June 20 will be considered.
Eva Gabrielsson will then record a video response to her favorite of the questions, which will be released on June 28 in this space and across the Internet.
Thanks very much for those who choose to participate: now, what are the things you want to know about #StiegandEva?]]>
Stieg did not sit down one day at his computer and announce, “I’m going to write a crime novel!” In a way, he never even formally began to write one at all, because he never drew up an outline for the first book, or the next two, still less for the seven he intended should follow. Stieg wrote sequences that were often unrelated to the others. Then he would “stitch” them together, following the thread of the story and his inclination. In summer 2002, during a week-long island vacation, I could see he was a bit bored. I was working on my book about the Swedish architect Per Olof Hallman, but Stieg was at loose ends, going around in circles.
So I asked him, “Haven’t you got some writing to work on?”
“No, but I was just thinking about that piece I wrote in 1997, the one about the old man who receives a flower in the mail every year at Christmas. Remember?”
“Of course! I’ve been wondering for a long time what that was really all about.”
Stieg got right to it, and we spent the rest of the week working outdoors on our computers, with the sea before our eyes and grass beneath our feet. Happy.
You can purchase the full July 2011 issue of Vanity Fair at newsstands or through the iPad app.]]>
We may never see another novel about Lisbeth Salander, aka The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But books about the hacker-heroine’s creator, the late Stieg Larsson, are still hurtling through the publishing pipeline.
. . . On June 21, “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me (Seven Stories Press, $23.95), a memoir by Larsson’s longtime love Eva Gabrielsson, arrives in the USA. Gabrielsson and members of the Larsson family have been battling over his literary legacy. Larsson died without a will in 2004 at age 50.
Media outlets overseas have covered the book’s contents; it has been published in France, Norway and Sweden.
Gabrielsson confirms that Larsson wrote about 200 pages of a fourth book in the Millennium Trilogy and that she still hopes to gain the legal rights to complete it.
•The title of the fourth book was to be God’s Vengeance.
•Of her part in writing the Millennium Trilogy, which began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: “I can simply say that we often wrote together,” and the books are “the fruit of Stieg’s experience, but also of mine.”
Burstein, co-author of The Tattooed Girl, tells USA TODAY there is no doubt Gabrielsson played at least a limited role in Larsson’s books.
“How much of plotting, character and story — that’s not clear, but certainly she did read drafts, gave him her feedback, and I’m sure he changed many things because she told him ‘That’s not the way a woman would talk,’” Burstein says.]]>