Life imitating art as Millennium feud hots up

In her fight over the legacy of her longtime partner Stieg Larsson, Eva Gabrielsson finds her life starting to resemble that of the goth-punk heroine of his phenomenal Millennium trilogy.

Just as tattooed hacker Lisbeth Salander contends with men who hate women, so Gabrielsson suspects misogyny among those denying her the right to administer one of publishing's hottest properties: his literary estate.

"I think it's true," she told AFP on Thursday in Paris, where her 160-page memoir of her 32 years alongside the crusading journalist who penned "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and its sequels has just been published.

"There's a lot of truth in that. Those who are doing this are men," she said, acknowledging that her life after Larrson's untimely death might as well be the fourth volume of his best-selling crime thriller saga.

"It would have fit extremely well into the Millennium series," she said. "It really would."

Larsson, founder of a small magazine in Stockholm that shed light on Sweden's neo-Nazi underworld, was 50 when he died soon before Millennium became the biggest global publishing phenomenon of the 21st century.

In her memoir, "Millennium, Stieg and Me", Gabrielsson describes her life with the journalist-cum-novelist, their close collaboration, and the feud with his family that erupted after he died without leaving a will.

"I've got my apartment back after three years, Steig's half of it," said the soft-spoken architect during a half-hour at a Left Bank boutique hotel where parakeets chirped in a cage beside her.

"They finally signed those papers in August 2007. I got my money back; we had joint bank accounts and I got that back... but all I asked for was the right to manage the literary estate."

She does not want full ownership of the estate, she said, but just the power to oversee what happens to the Millennium franchise as publishers and film producers explores way to milk it for maximum profit.

One of their arguments for not letting her administer the rights, she said, was that doing so would put her in conflict with the rights now held by Yellow Bird, producers of the Swedish-language film versions of the books.

Those rights include the right to develop characters, "so that means they would serialise their own productions, write their own manuscripts for 15 to 18 films, which they are known to do - they've done it with another Swedish crime writer."

Gabrielsson had not spoken with the family since August 2005 when, during a visit to the Larsson home in Umea, northern Sweden, his brother Joakim proposed a novel solution: that she marry her late partner's father Erland.

The idea left her "petrified," she writes in the memoirs.

Last week the feud went online when Joakim Larsson attacked Gabrielsson's memoirs as "so many falsehoods and misleading statements... We have not contributed to a 'Stieg Larsson industry' aside from books and films, which was Stieg's own wish."

Of the much-rumoured fourth volume, Gabrielsson - who is ready to finish it if the Larsson family lets her administer the literary estate - told AFP that it opens somewhere in Canada, with Lisbeth still the central character.

"There is no book as such," she said. "There is the beginning of a book. People don't seem to understand that it's a fragment. It's something between a sketchbook and a manuscript."

It exists in a computer - exactly where that computer is, Gabrielsson would not say - with no known print-out, amounting to about 200 pages in total, "but the family was never interested in letting me finish it".

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate