Stieg Larsson
Public DomainStieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson 1954-2004.

Stieg Larsson was born in Vasterbotten in the north of Sweden and raised by his grandparents. His Grandfather, Severin Bostrom, was a major influence in his life, setting the course he would follow right up to his death. Severin had been incarcerated in a labour camp during the Second World War because of his strongly held anti-fascist views. Stieg inherited these social and political views and spent much of his life fighting against intolerance. In particular, he became something of a leading expert in contemporary fascist and neo-Nazi movements. But also, as shown by his Millenium Trilogy, he detested the abuse of women by men.

Severin died when Stieg was nine and he spent the rest of his childhood with his parents and younger brother. His writing career started early when, at the age of twelve, he was given a typewriter for his birthday.

He met his partner for life, Eva Gabrielsson, at an anti-Vietnam war demonstration when he was only eighteen. They lived together until Stieg’s untimely death from a heart attack after climbing several flights of stairs to his office because of a broken lift. He smoked sixty cigarettes a day and was a workaholic. Friends had advised him to take better care of himself but he took no heed.  He did have a reputation for being awkward and difficult, but was also a quiet and shy man.

His obsessive work ethic made for a life uncommonly abundant in achievements. He was the Scandinavian correspondent of Searchlight (an anti-fascist magazine), he edited for a time Fjarde Internationalen (the journal of the Trotskyist Fourth International). When Sweden was blighted with neo-Nazi violence in the mid nineties he helped establish the Expo Foundation and Expo magazine which aimed at countering right wing extremism. On top of all this he was often lecturing on the tactics of fascist groups to police forces across Europe including Scotland Yard.

Crime writing came to him late in his career when he began brooding over ideas for several novels in the early nineties. In 1997 he began work on the Millennium Trilogy and contacted a publisher only in 2003 after the first two were completed and the third one begun.

Gabrielsson and Larsson never married, partly because they lived for many years with repeated death threats from the neo-Nazi groups. Marriage in Sweden has to be a public declaration which they saw as a security risk. The intrigues of his life and books have thus continued beyond his death. Not marrying and never making a will, there is a bitter dispute over his estate. Gabrielsson claims she is the rightful inheritor but Swedish law means Larsson’s estate has gone to his Father and Brother, from both of whom he had all but cut contact.

 Profile: Stieg Larsson from THE TIMESONLINE


Life and Times from Stieg Larsson's Official Web Site


In search of Stieg Larsson - Article from the BBC