Eva Gabrielsson

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Eva Gabrielsson
Born (1953-11-17) 17 November 1953 (age 65)
OccupationArchitect, author
Partner(s)Stieg Larsson (from 1974–2004; his death)

Eva Gabrielsson (born 17 November 1953) is a Swedish architect, author, political activist, feminist, and the long-time partner of the late Swedish mystery novelist Stieg Larsson. Under the English common law, which prevails in the Commonwealth, and the USA, Ms. Gabrielsson would be considered the spouse of the late Mr. Larsson.

Life with Larsson[edit]

Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson lived together from 1974 until his death in 2004. Larsson was one of the foremost experts in Sweden on anti-democratic, extreme right-wing, and neo-Nazi movements. Gabrielsson says she and Larsson never married because he had believed his anti-fascist work could have put her at risk if there was a paper trail linking them legally or financially.[1] Because they were never married and Larsson died without leaving a will, his estate went to his father and brother, in accordance with Swedish law. Larsson was somewhat estranged from his father Erland and his brother Joakim because nine years of his childhood were spent happily living with his grandparents in the northern country of Sweden.[2][3] “It is as if my identity has been erased. It’s like being dispossessed,” Gabrielsson said to a reporter in 2010.[4]

Since shortly after his death, Gabrielsson has been negotiating with Joakim and Erland Larsson over control of Larsson's work.[5] At one point, Larsson's father and brother offered Gabrielsson roughly $3.3 million, but she continues to fight for the literary rights of Larsson's work. One source interviewed a friend who said that Gabrielsson "will not be bought".[6]

Gabrielsson's memoir, "There Are Things I Want You to Know" About Stieg Larsson and Me, chronicles their life together and puts Larsson's often chaotic life into context. Gabrielsson, in one interview, explains that she did not start the memoir with the intention of writing a book; rather, it all stemmed from diary entries that Gabrielsson was writing in order to deal with the grief of losing her partner.[7] The title of her book comes from a love letter that Larsson wrote to Gabrielsson when he thought he might die during a trip to Africa in 1977. The letter is included in the memoir along with the details of Larsson's trip to Africa.[8]

Her partner, she says, was a feminist, a hopeless businessman, a journalist who could not hold down a staff job, and a passionate fighter and investigator for social causes and against the Far Right.[9] The memoir also details how the couple met and their struggles together at Expo, the anti-fascist publication Larsson founded in 1995.[10] According to Gabrielsson, Larsson had written 200 pages of a fourth novel in his internationally successful Millennium series before he died; she has been seeking the legal authority to be in charge of what will happen to these 200 pages, as well as to exercise control over all Larsson's literary work, although so far Larsson's family has refused to give her such rights.[11] If granted the literary rights of the series, however, Gabrielsson explains that she is not sure that it is fair for a ghostwriter to complete the work that Larsson had started.[12]

Writer, activist and architect[edit]

As a writer, in addition to working with Stieg Larsson on his literary projects, she is the coauthor of several books, including a monograph on the subject of cohabitation in Sweden, a Swedish government study on how to create more sustainable housing, and a forthcoming study on the Swedish urban planner Per Olof Hallman. She has also translated Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle into Swedish. As an activist, she works to end violence against women.[13]

People who knew Stieg Larsson, such as his friend Kurdo Baksi and Anders Hellberg, a colleague of Larsson's in the 1970s and 1980s, were surprised that he wrote the Millennium novels. Hellberg went so far as to suspect that Larsson is not the sole author of the series, reasoning that Larsson was simply not a good enough writer. Gabrielsson has been named as the most likely candidate, due to her chosen wording during at least one interview that seemed to imply co-authorship, although she later claimed she had been misquoted.[14] In 2011 Gabrielsson expressed anger at such accusations and clarified "The actual writing, the craftsmanship, was Stieg's. But the content is a different matter. There are a lot of my thoughts, ideas and work in there." As an example she said he used her unfinished book about architect Per Olof Hallman to research locations for the Millennium series and that the two of them physically checked places together and discussed where the characters would live.[15]

Her architectural practice is currently involved in housing and office construction and heading a European Union initiative to create sustainable architecture in the Dalecarlia region.


  1. ^ Esther Addley "The Girl in the £20m Inheritance Battle – partner of late novelist Stieg Larsson fights for share of fortune", The Guardian, 2 November 2009
  2. ^ David J. Fuller "Real-life Stieg Larsson Tale like a Norse Saga", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 June 2011
  3. ^ Deirdre Donahue "'There Are Things I Want You To Know' About Stieg Larsson and Me' by Eva Gabrielsson with Marie-Francoise Colombani", USA Today 20 June 2011
  4. ^ Anna Porter "Exclusive: Anna Porter talks to Stieg Larsson’s life partner", Globe and Mail (Toronto), 10 October 2010
  5. ^ "Eva Gabrielsson refuses Larsson family offer" Archived June 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Local (Sweden), 17 June 2010
  6. ^ Gary Yerkey "Stieg Larsson's Companion Prepares for the Book Tour He Never Took", Christian Science Monitor, 14 June 2011
  7. ^ Geoff Pevere "Life after Larsson" Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Toronto.com, 27 June 2011
  8. ^ Vibhuti Patel "Interview With Eva Gabrielsson: Straight Talk on Stieg Larsson", Wall Street Journal, 25 June 2011
  9. ^ John Lichfield "My role in Stieg Larsson's success, by partner who was left with nothing", The Independent, 17 February 2011
  10. ^ Benedicte Page "Stieg Larsson's partner plans to complete final Millennium novel", The Guardian, 14 January 2011
  11. ^ Elaine Sciolino "A Word From Stieg Larsson's Partner and Would-Be Collaborator", New York Times (blog), 17 February 2011
  12. ^ Geoff Pevere "Life after Larsson" Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Toronto Star, 27 June 2011
  13. ^ "About the author", StiegandEva.com
  14. ^ McGrath, Charles (23 May 2010). "The Afterlife of Stieg Larsson". The New York Times Magazine.
  15. ^ "Sequel announced to Stieg Larsson's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy". The Guardian. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2014.

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