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 Larssons 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 (Extremhogern) 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 1990s, 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.

By Editor

92 thoughts on “Work”
  1. I just finished the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in English and I just can’t believe I have to wait for so long for the next 2 books in the series…..I’m tempted to learn Swedish just to read the next two books…..please accellerate the release of them for those of us with poor linguistic skills but who can’t wait to catch up on the characters


    Reply to this comment
  2. Estoy deseando que llegue el día 25 para poder leer la segunda novela de Stieg . Esa es la fecha en que sale publicada en España.

    La primera es magnífica y por lo que he leido esta segunda no lo es menos. Ahora entiendo a aquellos niños y niñas que esperaban horas en la cola en el día de venta de cada entrega de Harry Potter.

    Me siento igual ó más ilusionada ,si cabe, sabiendo que dentro de unos días voy a poder disfrutar de las nuevas aventuras y pensamientos de Michael y Lisbeth.

    Y espero que la tercera entrega salga enseguida.Saber que esa es la última novela me pone triste porque pienso cuñanto nos habría hechio disfrutar con las otras 7 que pensaba escribir. Una verdadera lástima. Ojalá estuviera entre nosotros y siguiera proporcionándonos tanta emoción.

    magda garcía (tenerife, españa),

    Reply to this comment
  3. I totally agree with Brenda, can’t believe it is to take so long to get the 2nd and 3rd books translated. Have just read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 3 days and how on earth are we supposed to wait a year for the follow up. PLEASE HURRY UP THE TRANSLATION.

  4. The girl with the dragon Tattoo — was a terrific read — powerful – depressing and exciting. In his early death we loose a strong wonderful writer.

    Izabella Casselman,

  5. I look forward to reading Mr Larsson’s books here in the USA. There are many many holds on a few copies of his Dragon book at the public library, so I have a wait. I love this genre and I think his stories must be very special, as per these comments. Thank you!


  6. This is my first Stieg Larsson novel. So far I have totally enjoyed the book, but I am very disturbed to have found out that he is deceased! I have tried to find out how that happened, but can not.

    Why is that?


  7. I love these books! For one thing, its such a satisfaction to read about the female character. Unrealistic or not, its a fantastic feeling to experience her power. She´s got an autism spectrum disorder, I think they mention in one of the books. An interesting thing I heard is that the idea too the books came from a mindgame. Stieg Larsson and his friends talked about what Pippi Longstocking would be lika as a grownup. The male characters name; Blomqvist, is also from a famous swedish childen book from the fifties. Kalle Blomquist was a boy who solved mysteries.

    Another interesting but extremly unfair thing, is that Stiegs woman for 30 years, who also took part in the writing of these books, doesn´t get one penny from the millions and millions that the success the books generate. For safety reasons, Stieg and his woman, Eva, wasn´t married. Stieg wanted to protect her from the danger his fight againts extreme right-wing people caused. Of the same reason he also needed to have a safe adress to which he couldn´t be traces. As long as he and Eva wasn´t married he could stay in a home that was registrated in her name. Onfortunately, Stiegs father and brother, -who look exactly like Stieg-doesn´t at all seem related to him. When it comes to moral, intelligens, safistication, insight and heart Stieg and his relatives seems to come from two different universes. Obviously Stieg was separated from his family and grow up with his grandmother for a lot of years. The brother and father-who according to a documentary saw Stieg once a year at most if I remember right- takes all the money and refuses to give Eva anything. Not only did she loose the love of her life and her best friend, she was also robbed on millions and accused by Stiegs family to be mentally week when in fact she was in deep grief over Stiegs death. Stieg Larssons life and the things that has taken place after his death are could be made a film of as well.

    Thank you Stieg for your books and your fight against racism and abuse!

    Please excuse my bad english


    Anna Johansson,

  8. Reacting to the comment of Mikaelk. I think you are referring to the scam of Lisbeth Salander where she manages to steal billions of kronor from Wennerström. Am I right? It was described at the end of book I that he read an article about the mysterious disappearance of the money in a newspaper and there was a photograph of a blond woman with nice breasts and chique clothes and jewels. Blomkwist took a magnifying glass to the photo, after some studying identified Salander and laughed. That was it.

    I am so lucky to be Dutch, so I got to read the Dutch translations of the Millennium trilogy in one go. I think Stieg Larsson was a very gifted thriller writer and I feel deeply sorry that we are deprived of him so soon…..

    ilona4email@yahoo.com, the Netherlands,

  9. could noput dpwn the girl with the dragon tattoo! How can I get the other books in Engl ish?

    Linda Bearison New York,

  10. Just read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. What a gifted storyteller… Have not read such a gripping book since Monkeewrench by PJ Tracey. Waiting for the rest of the Trilogy.

    So very unfortunate the Steig Larsson died at such an early age. The world loses a prolific writer. God bless his soul and hope the money generated from his books goes to causes dear to him.

    Vandana Rao Jaisingh, Singapore,

  11. Took “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” from the library on Monday. Finished it Saturday morning. Salandar is one of the most fascinating, unforgettable characters I have ever encountered. I hope the outrage she (Steig Larsson) expresses about men’s violence towards women, proclaimed in an international best-selling novel, has a lasting impact on the millions of people it will reach. Larsson’s analysis of the games played by the big players in the stock market also could not be more timely. I can only imagine what an impact he might have had if he had lived to write for another 20 or 30 years. With his far too early death, the world lost an important voice and conscience. I will be looking for english translations of his earlier writings. If they don’t now exist, I hope they soon will.

    Nelson Howard, Illinois, USA,

  12. Thank you for linking to Expo; I suspect it will be a pleasure to further explore S. Larsson’s anti-rascism campaign just like it was to read tgwtdts.

    David Neiwert is a similar American journalist to whom Stieg Larsson readers might take an interest.


  13. Just read the first seventy-five pages of the first book. Totally hooked.

    How all you who have finished them all must envy me!

    Laurence, London, England.,

  14. Just finished the first book read most of it in one day as I couldn’t put it down. It’s the best book I have read for a long time, totally gripping brilliant how it is all brought together, the characters are brilliant.

    I am now desperately trying to get the next one. Could kick myself as I picked this one up at a book shop in Melbourne Airport and thought I wouldn’t get the next one then as unsure about wanting to all of them.

    Kathy Bunyan Gisborne,New Zealand,

  15. Just finished book 1, so sorry that this unique voice is no longer in the world. am now very interested in his life…..is there a biography?

    Reader Girl,

  16. just finished the series. the best Ive ever read. its saddens me greatly that he died so young. We will never know what esle may have happened to such wonderful charactors.


  17. I have just read the first book of the millenium series, started yesterday, finished today. Couldn’t put it down. Keen to get number 2 asap.


  18. Hugely enjoyable books with the most original female character in detective fiction. Lisbeth Salander is awesome.

    Amanda Brown, Sydney Australia,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *