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The Big Business of Stieg Larsson: Long-Time Partner Wants to Finish Millennium Series

In her memoir that will be published next week, Eva Gabrielsson, the long-time partner to the late author Stieg Larsson says she wants to finish writing a fourth volume in the hugely popular series of thrillers written by Larsson.

“I am able to finish it … Stieg and I often wrote together,” she says in an Agence France-Presse interview.

Nearly 50 million copies of series’ three — "THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, AND THE KICK WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST" — have been sold around the world.

As I shared with you back in October, Larsson 50, had intended the series to span ten novels but died of a heart attack before the first book was published.

Gabrielsson, who was his partner for 32 years, has been battling Larsson’s father and brother over his estate ever since (Larsson died without writing a will).

Her memoir, "MILLENNIUM, STIEG and ME", will be published next Wednesday in France, Norway, and Sweden; an English-language translation is forthcoming.

Agence France-Presse reports:

On the much-talked-about fourth volume, Gabrielsson confirmed that Larsson, typing on a computer, had gotten just over 200 pages into the story before his untimely death.

“I am able to finish it … Stieg and I often wrote together,” she said, adding that she would only do so once she gets undisputed rights to his work from the Larsson family.

“It is not my intention to recount here the plot of the fourth volume,” she said. “On the other hand, I want to say that Lisbeth little by little frees herself from her ghosts and her enemies.”

Confronted with death threats, the couple (Larsson and Gabrielsson) never married in order not to make it easier for neo-Nazis to track them, she explains in the book, which is to be published in other markets including the United States later this year.

Under Swedish law, the author’s assets — including copyrights — thereby automatically went to his father and brother.

In June last year, soon after a Swedish film adaptation of “Tattoo” was released in the United States, Gabrielsson turned down the family’s offer of 2.1 millions euros (2.75 million dollars) plus a seat on the board of directors of the company that manages the rights to Larsson’s work.

In her book, she condemns what she calls “the Stieg Larsson industry and brand… I don’t want to see coffee mugs and other ‘Millennium’ merchandise; I want to see the ‘real’ Stieg respected”.

Written in collaboration with French journalist Marie-Francoise Colombani, Gabrielsson’s memoirs recount her childhood, how she met Larsson, their lives together and the struggles they confronted together, notably through Expo, the periodical he founded in 1995 as the far-right was gaining traction in Sweden.

Both Larsson and his editorial staff “moved around constantly to escape the Nazis who were harassing them,” she recalled.

Millennium fans will find two chapters particularly gripping, as they flesh out the characters whose fictional lives echoed the real experiences of Larsson and Gabrielsson.

Email me at bullishonbooks@cnbc.comAnd follow me on Twitter @BullishonBooks

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