Translated by Laurie Thompson. MacLehose Press, £12.99, 186pp. £10.99 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030

The Expo Files, By Stieg Larsson

 

It's a mystery as provocative as anything in The Millennium Trilogy: is there a fourth book by the author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? How much more did Stieg Larsson write about the fascinating, sociopathic Lisbeth Salander before his prodigally unhealthy lifestyle ended his life at the age of 50?

The answer to that is swirling around in the acrimonious dispute between Larsson's ex-partner and his blood relatives – but succour is at hand for those suffering serious Larsson withdrawal symptoms: The Expo Files, edited by his journalistic colleague Daniel Poohl.

Stieg Larsson was comfortably among the most commercially successful writers of the first decade of the 21st century, albeit posthumously. In the course of the sprawling, politically charged, violent epic that is The Millennium Trilogy, Larsson invites us to gaze at the sexually polymorphous, much-abused heroine Lisbeth Salander. In fact, the non-consensual sex in the novel quickly became one of its most controversial elements – defended as possessing a keen feminist tenor but excoriated by those who felt that the repeated rapes were gloating and exploitative, granted a cynical feminist gloss in order to make them acceptable (and politically correct) to modern readers.

Such issues are touched on in The Expo Files. Courtesy of the writer's British publisher, we are given several fascinating insights into Larsson's non-fiction writings; they may not settle such arguments, but give the reader his authentic voice as a journalist (and even his skills in this area have been disputed in very public fashion since his death).

Before creating his fictional surrogate Mikhail Blomkvist, Larsson was already celebrated as a campaigning journalist, taking on anti-Semitism and corruption in government. He added battles for the rights of battered women to his already weighty political résumé, but was most celebrated as an authority on extremist organisations; his sorties against them often put him in physical danger. His name was known in this country from the pages of Searchlight magazine, but his own magazine was the Swedish journal Expo, from which the passionately written articles collected here are drawn.

Larsson's views are still controversial (the journalist Nick Cohen, for instance, criticises his almost obsessive concentration on male violence against women and also accuses him of paranoia). Larsson founded the Swedish Expo Foundation with a brief to "counteract the growth of the extreme right", and edited the house magazine Expo (the inspiration for the magazine "Millennium", which the journalist Blomkvist works on in the trilogy), penning the series of lacerating articles represented in The Expo Files. There are keen insights here into the issues that motivated him, including a chillingly prescient piece about the likelihood of terror killings in the Scandinavian countries – along with a cutting exposé of the "charlatans" of neo-spiritualism; in none of these does Larsson mince his words.

This collection – often infuriating, but always challenging – may be bought by most as an adjunct to Larsson's fictional universe, but these articles (some almost 30 years old) still have much to say to us today.

Barry Forshaw's 'Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction' is published by Palgrave Macmillan

Arts & Entertainment
TV

Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
music

Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
ComedyCollier was once told there were "too many women" on bill
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
music

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatre

Review: Of Mice and Men

Arts & Entertainment
art

By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work

Arts & Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio will star in an adaptation of Michael Punke's thriller 'The Revenant'
film

Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar

Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film

Arts & Entertainment
Down to earth: Fern Britton presents 'The Big Allotment Challenge'
TV

Arts & Entertainment
The London Mozart Players is the longest-running chamber orchestra in the UK
musicThreatened orchestra plays on, managed by its own members
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
film

Arts & Entertainment
TV
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
art

What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?

Arts & Entertainment
artGraffiti legend posts picture of work – but no one knows where it is
Arts & Entertainment
A close-up of Tom of Finland's new Finnish stamp
art

Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings

Arts & Entertainment
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 2002's Die Another Day
film

The actor has confessed to his own insecurities

Life & Style
Green fingers: a plot in East London
TV

Allotments are the focus of a new reality show

Arts & Entertainment
Myleene Klass attends the Olivier awards 2014

Oliviers 2014Theatre stars arrive at Britain's most prestigious theatre awards
Arts & Entertainment
Stars of The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park

Oliviers 2014Blockbuster picked up Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical
Arts & Entertainment
Lesley Manville with her Olivier for Best Actress for her role in 'Ghosts'

Oliviers 2014Actress thanked director Richard Eyre for a stunning production
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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit