Sam’s Selection – featured author this month

stiegLarssonPicStieg Larsson, was a Swedish journalist and writer, born in Skelleftehamn outside Skellefteå.

He is best known for writing the “Millennium series” of crime novels, which was published posthumously. Larsson lived and worked much of his life in Stockholm. he died suddenly at the age of 50 from a heart attack, after climbing seven flights of stairs at his office because of a broken lift.

At his death, Larsson left behind manuscripts of three completed but unpublished novels in a series. He wrote them for his own pleasure after returning home from his job in the evening, making no attempt to get them published until shortly before his death.

The first was published in Sweden in 2005 as Män som hatar kvinnor (“Men who hate women”), published in English as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was awarded the Glass Key award as the best Nordic crime novel in 2005. His second novel, Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire), received the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2006. The third novel in the Millennium series, Luftslottet som sprängdes (“The air castle that was blown up”), published in English as The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, was published in the United States in May 2010.

The Swedish film production company Yellow Bird has produced film versions of the Millennium series, co-produced with The Danish film production company Nordisk Film and TV company, which were released in Scandinavia in 2009.

Stieg Larsson acknowledged that a significant number of his literary influences were American and British crime/detective fiction authors.

Topping the list were Sara Paretsky, Agatha Christie, Val McDermid, Dorothy Sayers, Elizabeth George and Enid Blyton. One of the strongest influences originates from his own country: Pippi Longstocking, by Sweden’s much-loved children’s author Astrid Lindgren. Larsson explained that one of his main recurring characters in the Millennium series, Lisbeth Salander, is actually fashioned on a grown-up Pippi Longstocking as he chose to sketch her.

You can watch an interview online about Stieg Larson and the publishing phenomenon he became on the Charlie Rose U.S. website.

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