Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (copy)

I am currently reading the wildly popular The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. All three books are on the New York Times Best Sellers List in one format or another. Did you know the first book almost did not get published in the States? Hard to believe when there are 27 million copies in print according to London newspaper, The Independent.

Born in 1954, Stieg was one-year-old when he was sent to live with his grandparents in Sweden. His grandfather, Severin Boström, was imprisoned in a work camp during WWII for his anti-fascist beliefs. Stieg listened to his grandfather’s stories and looked up to him as a role-model.

In Larsson’s biography, The Man Who Left too Soon author Barry Forshaw states, “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 grandfather, from repeating itself.”

At the age of twelve, he was back living with his parents and annoying them with his new typewriter. His loud pecking forced them to rent a basement room in their neighbor’s home for the lad. Stieg’s father said, “After that we never saw him. He would come up just to eat and talk politics.”

Eva Gabrielsson, his partner since the age of 18, claims he was never close to his parents. The couple met at an anti-Vietnam rally in 1972 and was inseparable until his untimely death in 2004. They both shared a love of writing and worked together on science fiction fanzines and finally on their own magazine titled Expo.

Through Expo, Stieg had the freedom to print his anti-racism and feminist beliefs. Death threats were numerous. The New York Times Magazine stated, “…the White Aryan Resistance published his photograph and address and suggested that as an ‘enemy of the white race’ he ought to be eliminated.”

Stieg’s sudden death left Eva without protection. The literary license fell to Stieg’s father and brother, but Eva has an ace up her sleeve. She owns the laptop containing book five and six of the planned 10 book Millennium series.

Quick funny before I go. Eva claims the elfin Lisbeth Salander character is based on a grown up Pippi Longstocking. Tough!