Stieg Larsson

Background

Stiegs grandfather, an inspiring role model

Stieg Larsson was born in Vasterbotten 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 stieglarsson.com 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.

2,225 comments on “Background”

  • Patty j says:

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

    - Patty j,


  • pamela says:

    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,


    • Rory, says:

      yes, amazing reads. I’m almost done with …Hornets Nest. all I can say isWow!I Cr 13:8a

      - johnnycee,


  • admin says:


  • Dawdling Daisy says:

    Never read anything from this genre before but WOW!!! Can’t get enough of these fabulous books. Such detail, what research and in-depth knowledge, what page-turning fiction! I have felt compelled to find out more about this amazing writer. What a shame about his early death. My deepest sympathies to his life partner. About to start No 3….. go to go!!!

    - Dawdling Daisy,


  • L. Morley says:

    I thought the books were special. I have read them over again and again I can,t get enough of them

    - L. Morley,


    • GARRET, says:

      In Sweden, being a communist is like being a Democrat in the US – it has little or nothing to do with Marxist statism but rather the seeking of greater democracy and economic justice. Since Sweden, for the most part, is deeply egalitarian, communism has little impact. The structures of their nation already emphasize justice for all people. From what I can read here, Larsson was more a social democrat as we’d think of it than someone who slavered to welcome back Stalin. His writings are deeply anti

      -authoritarian which reveals how distasteful the USSR and any form of statism would be. In other words, keep not caring what his philosophy is – his work reveals his values: egalitarianism, justice, honor, and truth.

      - Emily Scopes,


    • colton garrett, says:

      use library books. you can also sometimes buy used library books, which helps the library. write to Swedish govt. officials. they’re online. blog about this on your site, other sites. all writers reveal the characters in their own lives…Larsson was no exception. think about all the nasty vile “father/brother” figures in his novels & all the lovely women….including Liz. ;}

      - camille,


    • garrett gillfish bob, says:

      Hopefully she will write a memoir. Make sure to buy and confirm her importance in Stieg’s work.

      - Nmiller,


    • gerrett, says:

      Amen sister! Glen Beck is just a maggot in the cesspool of George Bush/Dick Cheney…he is but a mere speck of fecal matter.

      - Gordie,


    • admin says:

      Glenn Beck is a loud mouth lout. He thinks he know everything! I can’t watch him

      - he believes that if he says it loud enough it will be the gospel.

      - Carol,


  • Dr. V. says:

    The novels and the Swedish trilogy are brilliant! Americans need to appreciate the art of fimmaking in other countries. There are many crime novelists from Scandinavia who are sperb story crafters as well. I also love the Danish TV crime series that deal with global issues and take place in multiple countries (Netflix). Most are much more interesting than Law and Order, etc.

    - Dr. V.,


  • Micki Simonson says:

    I saw the Swedish movie, the American movie and I really hope that another movie is in the making of “The Girl Who Played With Fire” but it sounds like Roonie Mara is not going to make another film. Too bad, she was awesome in the part if Lizbeth Salander. I have read all three books of the Trilogy, three times! I am such a fan. I felt the same way about “Gone With The Wing” too.

    - Micki Simonson,


  • Antje B. says:

    Wow I was totally mesmerised , what an excellent trilogy. Started with the films now I am reading the books. A shame the genius behind the story is no longer with us. Bless Stieg, you have written history.

    - Antje B.,


  • Pete cole says:

    Just finished reading the trilogy and now feel bereaved that there is no more. Who will take up the reins now?

    - Pete cole,


  • craig holmes says:

    truly an enjoyable read.as karen says a real shame to lose such a gifted story-teller. most of what we find in north america is such tripe that i was shocked to learn that an author i enjoy so much left us early(i dont get out much).hope eva puts out that other book.

    - craig holmes,


  • Karen says:

    What a shame that such a gifted man was taken at such a young age. He was truly a genius. I hope Eva can manage to get the rest of the books out – they were riveting to the point of not wanting to finish the third book, knowing that could well be the end of the series.

    - Karen,


  • teka says:

    I think Eva has that 4th copyright.

    - teka,


  • Chuck Blardone says:

    What was Lizbeth’s motorbike’s Swedish license plate number?

    - Chuck Blardone,


  • Name/signature says:

    is it true that Eva did not receive any of the royalties of Stieg Larsson’s books?


  • stevetaracido@gmail.com says:

    On page , 623 , of “Tattoo” , Stieg Larsson , mention’s ” Kreuger Crash Of 1932 ” ; this is a true

    story of Ivar Kreuger , the “Match King” , who shocked the Swedish and International world of finance with his Bond Scams & Fraud ; perhaps , this true story , which was stranger than fiction , would have been his next book…

    - stevetaracido@gmail.com,


  • M. Dianne Barnes says:

    I’m in the middle of reading the last book and have enjoyed reading all of them. It is unfortunate that the author is not still alive as friends of mine& I have discussed there is a possibility that there could have been 3 or 4 more books to go along with this trilogy.

    - M. Dianne Barnes,


    • Name/signature, says:

      heart attack..

      - Name/signature,


    • aubrey, says:

      actually they have found 3/4 of a fourth book and manuscripts for both a fifth and sixth book.

      - aubrey,


  • William A King. says:

    The trilogy was so detailed that I wondered how he had become deceased at such an early age. Even wondering if he had met with some premeditated event. While sad about his demise, I am releived that it was natural causes and not like one of his characters.

    - William A King.,


    • Name/signature, says:

      I was concerned about the same thing and why I have looked at his biography… what natural causes?

      - Name/signature,


    • Name/signature, says:

      If he was born in ’54 and died in ’99, he would have been 45 yrs. old! Very sad!These are FANTASTIC!!! I have watched the Swedish version of the movie, of the first book, and can’t wait for the American version!VERY exciting!!

      - mia,


  • Name/signature says:

    3 years ago during my first adventure to Norway i was introduced to the first of the trilogy and i was hooked. I returned to NZ only to find the others were yet to be released in English, but it was worth the wait….Brillliant.


  • MILLENNIUM READER says:

    I really want that some one has the talent to lead this extraordinary history to a conclusion. I need to know how everything ends.

    - MILLENNIUM READER,


  • Caz Mac says:

    I am now into the third book of the Millennium Trilogy: absolutely brilliant in every possible respect. I get so emotionally involved that I can’t put the three books down! It’s such a shame that he never lived to see what a phenomenon his books became. Good luck Eva for the future!

    - Caz Mac,


  • Marc Joyce says:

    After all the hype I started reading these books and have not been let down. I finished the second book yesterday and plan to start this third this evening. Extremely well written and always keep you turning the page to see what happens next. A must read

    - Marc Joyce,


  • Name/signature says:

    This man was a BRILLIANT writer! His books are page-turners, just couldn’t stop reading all three. So well researched, and I learned a lot about Sweden that I wouldn’t have known before. Great story teller. If you haven’t read his books, by all meads do so immediately. You will not regret it.


  • g.gagan says:

    Why did he wait until all three were written before publishing the first one?

    - g.gagan,


  • Kurt von Strommer says:

    Lisbeth for President! She will have to adjust our election requirements a little first-should be no problem.

    - Kurt von Strommer,


  • L.pug says:

    Wow!!! The best read of my life. Eve I hope you will start writing winners just to show those money hungry larssons up. Bring in the$$$$.

    - L.pug,