Eva Gabrielsson is not going to be particularly popular after confirming that there was “not much truth” in reports that her late partner, the author Stieg Larsson, had left a fourth novel.
But that’s what she told BBC Radio 4’s Woman Hour. If you’re a fan of the Millennium trilogy then you might want to hold dear Gabrielsson’s comment that he had indeed written some new pages. But here’s the kicker: not enough, in her opinion, to form the basis for another book. “There’s the beginning of a fourth novel,” she said, but “I would estimate it to be about 200 pages, given what I saw in late August during our last vacation, and given what I knew of Stieg’s workload in his last two months.”
Larsson’s own story would make a compelling book in its own right: he died of a heart attack at the age of 50 in 2004 before he ever knew worldwide fame. Twenty-seven million copies later (of the likes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and it’s understandable why there remains such keen interest in the Swedish writer and what he might have left behind.
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Gabrielsson has a fascinating back story too: Despite being together for 32 years, according to Swedish law, she wasn’t entitled to anything from his estate, as they weren’t married and there wasn’t a valid will either (she’s also in a legal battle with Larsson’s father and brother, who inherited the estate.) Gabrielsson has written a book called Stieg and Me about these experiences.
Back to the mooted fourth book by Larsson and Gabrielsson said that, “It probably doesn’t hang together. Stieg was a spontaneous writer, he could write scenes and not knit them together until later on – he just liked the scene. You can’t call it a novel.”
What we can say is that the clamor for more Larsson isn’t going to go away any time soon. At least this year brings a fresh take on the Millennium trilogy with the first of director David Fincher’s Hollywood remakes of the Swedish adaptation of the books. It’s sure to be dark, gritty and suitably mysterious. But it won’t be new. (via BBC)
(MORE: The Legacy of the Dragon Tattoo)