Monday, September 2, 2013

Author Bio: Steig Larsson

Stieg Larsson.jpg

Steig Larsson (full name Karl Stig-Erland Larsson) was a journalist and writer in Stockholm, Sweden. He is best known for his "Millenium" series, which you might think of as "The Girl" books: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (this week's review book), The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

He published several non-fiction books during his life, but the Millenium books were published posthumously, after his death at age 50 in 2004 (of a heart attack, walking up stairs.  That'll teach you to try and be healthy...) In 2008, Larsson was the second-best-selling author in the world (following only Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner (2003) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007)).

After receiving a typewriter as a gift for his twelfth birthday, Larsson's early attempts at fiction were sci-fi. He enjoyed writing, and changed the spelling of his name to "Steig" to avoid confusion with his friend Stig Larsson (who became a famous author first, but didn't get the international renown of Steig).

Larsson was also a left-wing activist, and in fact left his assets to the Socialist Party in his will. Unfortunately, his will was not legal under Swedish law, so instead, his girlfriend (who had no legal right to his assets) and his family argued over his estate for years.

His girlfriend was actually his partner for years, but did not want to marry due to security issues.  They would to put their address on public record, therefore endangering Larsson (who had many extremist groups he reported on after him.)

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