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'Partner may have written Millennium books'

Paul O'Mahony · 22 Jan 2010, 15:05

Published: 22 Jan 2010 15:05 GMT+01:00

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Journalist Anders Hellberg worked with Larsson at the TT news agency for a few years straddling the end of the seventies and the start of the eighties.

While Hellberg lauds Larsson for his research skills and encyclopedic knowledge of Sweden, he also stresses the extreme verbal limitations of a man whose death predated a rapid rise to the top of the world's best-seller lists.

Hellberg recalls that Larsson often worked with the production of graphs and tables during his time at TT. Sometimes when the two worked together on a night shift Larsson would come to Hellberg to request help with the texts that were to accompany his graphics.

"I was able to note -- and I don't write this with the intention of in any way devaluing this gifted man -- that he quite simply was not able to write. The language was stiff, the word order often wrong, the sentence structure basic, and the syntax sometimes completely insane. In other words, it was language that needed to be rewritten in order to work professionally," Hellberg writes in an article published on Friday by his current employer, Dagens Nyheter.

Hellberg suggests that Larsson's long-time partner Eva Gabrielsson may have been heavily involved in the writing process, a theory he says would also help to explain the bitter inheritance feud that has broken out between Gabrielsson and Larsson's immediate family.

"I have tried to put these questions to Eva Gabrielsson but she has graciously declined the offer of an interview.

"Regarding my question about cooperation between her and Stieg on the Millennium books however, she replies by email that 'I'm writing about that a bit myself in my own book'," says Hellberg.

As The Local reported earlier this week, Gabrielsson has reacted with fury to a book about Larsson published by another of his former workmates, journalist Kurdo Baksi.

In the book, entitled 'Min vän Stieg Larsson' (My Friend Stieg Larsson), Baksi alleges that the author wrote biased articles and invented source material.

Story continues below…

”Kurdo is trying to perform a character assassination of Stieg as a journalist. This is pure slander,” Gabrielsson told the Swedish television channel SVT.

All the furore over the new book has caused Kenneth Ahlborn, Larsson's boss at the news agency for ten years, to leap to the Millennium author's defence.

"To suggest that Stieg might have pushed through journalistically questionable texts at TT, or that he was generally viewed as a huffy wannabe who didn't feel good enough to take his place among the 'real' journalists, is a viewpoint so ill-informed it almost leaves me gasping for breath," he writes in Dagens Nyheter.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

15:31 January 22, 2010 by calebian22
"Hellberg suggests that Larsson's long-time partner Eva Gabrielsson may have been heavily involved in the writing process, a theory he says would also help to explain the bitter inheritance feud that has broken out between Gabrielsson and Larsson's immediate family. "

Gold digging greed might explain it too. She wasn't determined to be in the will; too bad, so sad.
15:54 January 22, 2010 by Taxlady
What I don't understand are the Swedish laws governing what her cut should be. As it does in Canada, I assumed that living sambo in Sweden for 30 years with Stieg would guarantee her total inheritance of all the proceeds. She was his life-long partner.Yet this does not appear to be the case.

If a person is not legally married in Sweden but living sambo and one of the partners dies, is there no law protecting their rights?
16:06 January 22, 2010 by Plowbridge
It is a widely held misconception that common law partners automatically receive any inheritance. Legally they get nothing unless stipulated in a will. This is the same across the majority of the globe. If correct Canada is one of the few exceptions.
17:06 January 22, 2010 by glamelixir
In my country wills are not allowed.

Legally a partner who can show evidence of living sambo for at least 5 years is legally protected.
17:26 January 22, 2010 by Tiddler
Perhaps Anders Hellberg should have made these allegations while the author was still alive so they could be either repudiated or acknowledged.

Where has Anders been for the last 5 years while Stig had all of this acclamation.

One can conclude that Anders is a self serving rock dweller seeking some fame, he should wriggle his way back to where he emerged from.
18:06 January 22, 2010 by izbz
Bruce Lee, Nicole, M. Jackson just to name a few and now Stieg kicked the bucket. Everyone want a piece of them. Of course they can say a hell lot of things because the dead can't defend themselves. I, too can say I teach M. Jackson how to dance, Taught Bruce Lee Wing Chun and help Stieg to write his books. Bla, bla don't cost me nothing.

But one thing we can be sure Eva might have been the only one that help.....in research, discussion, prove reading and etc....... Kurdo Baksi? Hellbreg? What the Hell? Gold-diggers
18:55 January 22, 2010 by Puffin
@ Tiddler

I don't quite get what you mean - how could he possbly have made the allegations when Stieg Larsson was alive? - what 'acclamation did Stieg Larsson have? You post makes no sense

Stieg Larsson died in 2004

The first Millenium book was published in 2005 - after his death
23:17 January 22, 2010 by peropaco
Regardless of all the hoopla, she stayed with him till the end of his days through thick and thin and she deserve at least 50% share of everything coming to his estate.
23:45 January 22, 2010 by Tiddler
Puffin, he was a prolific writer over many years. His works didn't start with Lisbeth.
03:30 January 23, 2010 by Davey-jo
I'm intrigued. First I've never read these books so I can't say whether they are literary beasts or not but the story going on behind is probably more interesting than the texts. A dead man writes a trilogy that is published after his death; I'm ok so far? Then his partner for x years is cut out of the money? Now this man is functionally illiterate and she wrote all these masterpieces. Am I up to speed with this latest Swedish tour de force? Sounds like a case for that retired inspector from Ystad ....
11:54 January 23, 2010 by Rick Methven
I've read all three books. The writing is good and the story based on a lot of the investigative journalism that Larsson was well know for.

It may be true that Steig larsson was not a brilliant writer in the 1970's when he was only in his 20's. But like many other writers he certainly blossomed in later life. He was certainly a good writer when he died at the age of 49
15:22 January 25, 2010 by Dimetrodon61
English speakers will of course be familiar with the "did Shakespeare write Shakespeare's plays?" silliness. Once someone famous is dead, he is fair game for those who want to make history more complicated than it is.
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