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Stieg Larsson's last letter to his brother

Stieg Larsson's last letter to his brother

Published: 27 Jan 2011 15:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Jan 2011 15:57 GMT+01:00

Less than three weeks before his death in 2004, Swedish author Stieg Larsson sent an email to his brother Joakim.

In the message, sent on October 20th, 2004, the Millennium trilogy author muses about the possible riches his books might generate and wonders when he and his brother will find time to catch up in person.

Portions of the message were first published in 2007 by Norran, a local newspaper in Skellefteå in northern Sweden where Stieg Larsson was born. The email was republished in full on January 27th, 2011 by the Expressen newspaper.

The Local has received permission from Joakim Larsson to publish an English translation of the email.

Hello Umeå,

Well, well…my detective novels are selling like crazy, and this without even going on sale in stores. I have three books completed and submitted, and the fourth almost finished. Norstedts began selling the first three abroad two weeks ago at the Frankfurt book fair, and it took about 48 hours to get a contract in Germany. I also got the highest fee Norstedts ever sold an untested newcomer for, which pleased their accountant and amuses me. My mail box is looking more and more like the coin tray on a slot machine.

Even more fun was that the group that bought me in Germany was Hayne/Random House, which is the world's largest book publishing group. It almost guarantees contracts for the American market and currently a total of 15 countries have expressed interest and want to read the script.

Take that, Henning Mankell. :-)

Well, what can I say. Everyone from the publisher to readers seems to be in total agreement that this will be a bestseller and I and Eva have begun shopping for a holiday cottage in the archipelago. Prices are a bit different here than up near Umeå. Plus buying a new apartment and other stuff that we’ve been counting on for years now. And obviously you’ll receive a signed copy.

Otherwise, Eva and I are living apart at the moment. She got a job in Dalarna that she could not turn down and as a result is living in Falun and will come home only on weekends. She is project manager for something called Star Byggutveckling, which is a sort of attempt to reorient the construction industry in Dalarna. But I'll say hi to her from you.

If you need a course in games of intrigue you can get in touch. I’m not doing anything else these days. But if you’re an authority, that reduces the need for intrigue. What is the reality show about? Maybe I should tell [journalist] Robban Aschberg. He’s also trying to buy the film rights to my novels, by the way.

Well, I don’t know when we’ll come up to Umeå next. I'm booked until like next spring with very short breaks. Come down to Stockholm instead, do so. You guys don't have any children now, and can do what you want.

You doing well?

Kisses/Stieg

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

17:38 January 27, 2011 by Zala Russe
A very interesting publication. I'm glad this has been published. It certainly gives a different take on matters. These are not the words of someone at war with his family, nor acting oblivious to their interests. Of course most of it is a self-concerned rejoicing, who wouldn't be in that mood with the early success that Stieg secured! For further insight take a look at 'THE MAN WHO LEFT TOO SOON, The Biography of Stieg Larsson' by Barry Forshaw and reviewed by me on here: http://www.thelocal.se/blogs/zalarusse/?p=120
17:57 January 27, 2011 by Sweetdishgurl
How will we ever know if this is the exact letter word by word? I wonder if Joakim and his father will buy Eva the cottage? Sounds to me like Stieg would be very sad to learn what his family has done with his money and legacy. He should have written a will the minute he noticed his book sales go up.
22:14 January 27, 2011 by planet.sweden
He comes across as very normal and delighted and proud that his novels were proving such a success. It's good to know that he had a good idea they were going to be both a"best seller" and a film before he died.
22:16 January 27, 2011 by Rolle
I don't know what gave us the right to look at other people private communications. Just because we like the Millenium novels or some would like to see the fourth one pulished (i actually don't care, since i found the third one to give quite a good closure) that doesn't give anybody a right to force Larsson family to reveal this private information. As for Mr. Gabrielsson, as sympathetic as i am with her loss and her legal-moral struggle a Stieg Larsson sambo, i think it's about time she realizes the only way of settling this matter is sitting with the Larsson family and finding a PRIVATE solution. Don't write a g.damn book about it for christ sake.
06:50 January 28, 2011 by Prat
Seems he was proudly boasting to his estranged brother that things were (finally) going well... And he's clear about what he's offering the brother: a signed copy of the book.

That family must know something of what Stieg Larsson would want for his sambo - they should feel ashamed for being without a shred of generosity for her.
15:16 January 28, 2011 by justagurlfromSeattle
it is soooooooo OBVIOUS that she was treated as his wife... even in this email..... he talks like she is his wife.... therefore she should have inherited his entire estate.....

who cares what the stupid law is.... the brother could chose to do the RIGHT thing..... he is instead choosing to be a greedy jerk....

at the very least they should have given her the house and the lake house they were planning on buying in this email......

this whole thing makes me sick..... GREED is so UGLY..... .
20:14 January 28, 2011 by rc franden
As of swedish heritage my feelings toward creative people generally have no common sense &especially writers which usually are a little crazy cause they go to the portion of the brain that most of us do not enter.
06:14 January 30, 2011 by JoeSwede
two points...

1) he only offers his brother a signed copy... why not part of the book money? to me that is telling.

2) wasn't Stieg supposed to be a socialist...it certainly looks like he's enjoying the money. Making plans to buy properties etc.
20:03 January 31, 2011 by BobWas
I am so tired of this woman.

I started off in her corner but as I learned a little about Swedish inheritance law and listened to her playing the sympathy card over and over and bashing the Larsson family over and over, I changed my mind about her.

Eva wants the publishing rights even though Stieg did not leave them to her -- and she is going to do whatever she can to get them, including villifying Stieg's family. If she talked about me in the press the way she is talking about the Larssons, I would have already filed slander and libel suits against her. And if I were an heir to the estate, I would also have sued her for the return of the fourth book.

And look at how she describes the fourth book. She calls it a "fragment." Stieg in his last email to his brother called it "almost finished." Big difference.

Eva is playing us, people.
20:28 February 1, 2011 by Arturio
he was killed. Why they didt do the autopsy?
08:37 February 2, 2011 by prince T
may be u are tired to see d the sence in this matter Bobwas. he did not leave the money tothe brothers neither. the brother are taking advantage of law to steal his money.

think about the woman that stayed with him for 30 year. You must actually be tired which was the reason you did not see this fact. She has every right to that money. fight on Eva
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