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".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz