Remembering Stieg Larsson

From The New York Times:

Larsson Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson spent 32 years together in Sweden and were soul mates, collaborators and fellow travelers. But one thing they were not was husband and wife, a fact that became critical when Larsson died unexpectedly in 2004 at the age of 50. That Larsson wrote an improbably successful trilogy of novels that began with “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and went on to sell more than 50 million books worldwide complicated every aspect of his passing. 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.

More here.