Stieg Larsson's Girlfriend Rages in Memoir


Gabrielsson has said she is clearly not interested in the money, only Larsson's legacy, but, Forshaw noted, that legacy has been "well-handled" by the family.

"The three Swedish films were pretty good films," he said. "The new film with Daniel Craig; you can't say they are really screwing that up. There are top actors and directors and high-quality people in both. His legacy has been treated with respect."

Gabrielsson objected to the change of the original title of Larsson's first book, "Men Who Hate Women," but, Forshaw argued, that was "a master stroke, giving the book an identity."

Although she has denied speculation that she wrote his books, Gabrielsson said, "Stieg and I often wrote together."

"It was from our lives and our 32 years side by side that the books were formed," she wrote. "They're the fruit of Stieg's experience, but also of mine. Of our combats, our engagements, our travels, our passions, our fears. That's why I can't say exactly what, in 'Millennium,' came from Stieg, and what came from me."

Gabrielsson has said she could easily finish the fourth novel in the series. In the 200 pages Larsson wrote before he died, Salander, "little by little, frees herself from her ghosts and her enemies."

But that project will not be done until she has won undisputed rights to his works, she said.

Larsson's Sci-Fi Stories

And Larsson lovers may have more to chew on when his

science fiction stories, written when he was 17 and sold to the magazine Jules Verne, emerge, "like J.D. Salinger appearing again," Forshaw said. "Anything will be interesting."

But Gabrielsson and the Larssons are still at a stalemate in their dispute.

"Nobody is talking to anyone and there's been no progress," Forshaw said. "In the initial offer they made her, the brother said all she has to do is come and say, 'Please,' and I accept it. That word, 'Please,' was like a red flag to a bull. Why should she have to say, 'Please?' It's utterly ridiculous."

Still others blame Larsson himself, who poured his soul into passionate causes but never formalized their relationship.

John Henri Holmberg, a close friend of the writer's, recently revealed in his book, "Afterword," -- part of a boxed collection of Larsson's work -- that the antifascist writer spent a year teaching Eritrean women who were part of Marxist liberation group to fire grenades.

"They didn't want their addresses available to neo-Nazis and were leading a clandestine lifestyle, but there are ways around that," Forshaw said. "But, in his defense, he didn't know what a phenomenal success he would be.

"He was deeply committed to his causes, but he was a slightly unworldly figure," he said. "If you train Eritrean guerillas, come on, he was an overweight journalist. It seems like a joke."

Forshaw met Larsson's father and brother when they visited Britain as he was writing the biography. "He was a charming unworldly man and his brother was somebody who wanted his own identity back," he said. "He felt he was more than Stieg Larsson's brother."

Now, letters between the brothers have emerged that show they were in communication shortly before his death. "He wrote that the novels were coming along fine, so they hadn't had a complete break off with them," Forshaw said. "The waters are very muddied and it changes day to day.

"A lot of people are saying, 'Why can't the three of them just get together and thrash it out?" he said.

Larsson's longtime friend Baksi at one point offered to intervene and "sit down to lunch" with the trio.

"We must find a solution, but Eva doesn't like to listen and compromise," he told last year. "It's terrible."

But now, with her angry memoir, Gabrielsson might know exactly what she is doing.

"The father and the brother just get richer and richer -- every record has been broken and there will be more with the translation of this book," Forshaw said.

"Eva has a mixture of passion for justice and for herself and has inexorable patience. She is quite happy to sit it out. And world opinion is on her side."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...