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”

  • 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,


  • Vmendzi@kfar-Hanassi says:

    I couldn’t put the books down I enjoyed them so much.

    Vita in Israel

    - Vmendzi@kfar-Hanassi,


  • Ellen Albert says:

    Never heard of him until this week= July3, 2012. But his psychology, bravery and of course a brillant, brilliant writer are always to be remembered! So sad that he died so young!! Aso lack of empathetic and at least supportive family is deplorable!

    - Ellen Albert,


  • David says:

    Hoe did Stieg die?

    - David,


    • Annie C, says:

      The 3rd is my favourite !!! Enjoy this gift Steig left us.

      - Rabea Amjad – Pakistan,


  • Mike says:

    I just reading the first book and I am going to start the second in the series. It’s a shame he passed away as he would have written many more great books

    - Mike,


  • Steve Bernstein says:

    Simply Amazing writing. Took me some time to get into the 1st book. But I was hooked! No boredom book after book. Just sheer desire to get back to reading more and long into the wee hours of the night. It is an honor to have had a novelist of Larsson’s caliber with us if even only for such a short time.

    - Steve Bernstein,


  • Bill Winterburn says:

    The entire saga was gripping…the characters were described so clearly that you felt that you had known each for a couple of years – rather than just a few hours…reading long after midnight was the norm…there were times when there was a chill down my spine as I sat alone and read enthralled…also a pronounced feeling of loss when it was finished…but it leaves one with a sense of hope for the future in that a few extraordinary people were able to overcome a stifling and secretive cancer.

    - Bill Winterburn,


  • Laura Henderson says:

    The empathy and thrill of the novels I’ve read are so engaging that I consider them unique among my readings. To read about Mr. Larsson’s and his partner’s travails and fortitude only enhances my appreciation. If there is another or more reading to be had about Lisbeth and Mikael and the other characters in the world of the trilogy, I would be very pleased. But not at the cost of something Mr. Larsson may have wanted. I think it’s clear to most minds who would be the best judge of that.

    - Laura Henderson,


  • Henrik Speigelhalter says:

    Truly an admirable man. It is so sad that he is gone, but his teachings shall live on for all future generations. I’ll personally see to it that it does.

    - Henrik Speigelhalter,


  • Ellen Z says:

    Wonderful novels from a wonderful man. Sorry I didn’t learn about him until now, after his death.

    - Ellen Z,


  • admin says:

    Am so upset that Ava his long life partner was denided Stiegs fortune when he suddenly passed away. That would not happen in Australia especially in 21st century She was the one that supported him through thick and thin especially when they had very little money and their lives were in constant danger.

    They were very much in love Shame on his family for been so greedy It is really sad

    What is wrong with the sweedish government. It make you wonder how much the fiction was actually true


    • admin says:

      I know how you feel. I am reading the last book now and trying to make it last. I am on page 508. I even put aside and read a James Patterson book to prolong Stieg’s last book.


  • maureen says:

    I was always intrigued by the titles of the 3 books in this series, and one day on a whim bought the first one when I happened to come across it at the store. I proceeded to finish it, and the 2 sequels, in record time, despite being 800 pages long! Once you start I defy you to put them down. I found that being based in Sweden held a different kind of pull, because it was interesting to learn about Sweden and its’ people and culture. Such a shame that he died so young.

    - maureen,


  • Fatima Ayala says:

    I finished all three books and I’m sadden that I will no longer be able to read about Lisbeth Salander!! I almost didn’t want to keep reading the last book because I knew that was the end and I didn’t wanted to end. I wish his life companion Eva all the best in the world!!

    - Fatima Ayala,


    • Bethany Skinner, says:

      It is a shock that a country considered one of the most developed doesn’t consider a union of 32 years as a marriage !!!!I think that his companion, Eva, should have the same rights as a wife.

      - Elaine Andrade,


    • admin says:

      Your spelling is atrocious; lack of syntax and basic grammer rules alsoabominable. Who cares where Lisbeth got the taser? They are actually rather easily available.

      - M. Pearson,


  • Barbara B. Bartholomew says:

    I have just finished the first of the three completed novels and am hooked. Also, curious about the author thus finding this website. I note that the authors of this website declare it’s “unofficial” and not affiliated with the family. Still, do you know the current status of the fourth book, and more importantly, how Larrson’s life partner is doing now? Yes, it is very sad as many have noted, that he died so young. He was a brilliant, and obviously compassionate person who had a passion for life. He lives on through his writings and his life’s work exposing right wing extremism, and extremists.

    - Barbara B. Bartholomew,


  • Joan Y. Grovom says:

    I was so intrigued with all three books. Once started it was hard to put them down. My husband and I loved the court trial in the 3rd book. I also felt that the movie was well done- followed the book closely except for just a few changes. I’m so sorry that Stieg died so young. I’m sure he would have given us many more good reads. It sounds like the story of his life would be a great read, also.

    - Joan Y. Grovom,


  • Jim Steucklert says:

    I agree with MES Each one of those books you just wont want to put down and crave for the next one. When you have finished the last one you will be sad that it is over.

    - Jim Steucklert,


  • MES says:

    The best I’ve read in years!! You must read all three back to back.

    - MES,


  • Amelie. USA says:

    They sure do drink a lot of coffee in this triology, eh? Wonder how many times the word “coffee” appears?

    - Amelie. USA,


    • Jill, says:

      Yes, Rooney Mara is the absolutely perfect fit for Lisbeth.

      - Lucas,


    • prairiejoe, says:

      In response to Virginia’ s comment and to echo Breno P, the Taliban as such have much more in common with our “Religious Right”….wanting to ban everything and shove their faith down everyone’s throat. Stieg was about injustice in all forms. It is a fact that the Right by their own admission have no tolerance for anybody who disagrees with them.

      - Walt,


    • Rosemary, says:

      I knew it!

      - Leticia Falsi,


    • Lucas, says:

      My understanding is that his girlfriend had the manuscript but was never accepted by his family who inherited most of his money due to not being married so she is holding it.


  • Brittany says:

    I think that Rooney Mara does a better job at really becoming Lisbeth Salander. Noomi Rapace, still looks too pretty and didn’t even dye her eyebrows blonde for the role, which is something Larsson clearly describes in the book. The American version is phenomenal.

    - Brittany,


    • Lucas, says:

      Yes, but it wasn`t finished, so they decided to not give it out.

      - Linda,


  • Gracee says:

    I love Stieg Larsson trilogy, been watching the movie with Noomi Rapace and absolutely loving here in these 3 movies! She plays Lisbeth Salander MUCH MUCH MUCH better than Rooney Mara in The Girl with The Dragon Tatto

    - Gracee,


  • Caro B says:

    Amazing how close to life this trilogy was. I am sad to here he has gone.

    - Caro B,


  • Linda P says:

    What a talent

    What a man

    What a shame

    - Linda P,


  • perry archer says:

    This is a question: did Larsson write a fourth Salander book? Perry a.

    - perry archer,


    • Leticia Falsi, says:

      Typical right wing blabber… blame everything on the left… even the evils of the right.

      - Marko,


    • admin says:

      I did not understand the first lady’s comments. Stieg larssons books were about the fight against injustice and evil, whatever the source, right or left. Shame on you, virginia, for being so small minded. God forgive you.

      - mark wagner,


    • Linda, says:

      What the relation the September eleven has with the left

      -wing movements? Don’t mix things that don’t have anything in touch. Al Qaeda, Taliban, and many others terrorist groups have more policies equals with the right

      -wing than with the left

      -wing (remember, this groups were trained by the CIA, in a time were do it, was a advantage for the USA).

      - Breno P.,


  • wuu2 says:

    - wuu2,