Culture

Exclusive: Stieg Larsson's Family Has No Plans to Publish the Unfinished Fourth Millennium Novel…At Least Not for Now

The level of intrigue and intense fascination surrounding the fate of Stieg Larsson's unfinished fourth and final Millennium novel has become a mystery worthy of Lisbeth Salander herself. But alas today's flurry of reports about the imminent posthumous publication of a fourth and final Millennium novel were inaccurate and premature. "There is no fourth book from Stieg Larsson on the horizon," said Paul Bogaards, Senior VP of Publicity, Promotion and Media Relations at Alfred A. Knopf. "Only the estate, controlled by his family (Joakim and Erland Larsson), can authorize publication of a fourth book, and they have no intention of doing so at the moment."

The source of the brushfire of speculation (and hopeful blogging) appears to have originated with a leaked copy of Eva Gabrielsson's upcoming memoir, Stieg and Me (due to be published this week in France and Scandinavia and on June 21 in the U.S.). The Guardian quotes Gabrielsson saying that she hopes to finish the fourth Millennium installment and feels entitled to do so because "Stieg and I often wrote together."

Be that as it may, Gabrielsson is clearly engaging in a little wishful thinking of her own, given that she is not in a position to make any legally binding decisions concerning Larsson's literary legacy. That right rests solely and solidly with the author's father and brother, Erland and Joakim Larsson, who inherited full control over Stieg's estate when he died in 2004. However Gabrielsson, continues to contest the Larssons' jurisdiction over Stieg's work, based on her thirty-two year relationship with the author. However, because they never officially married, Gabrielsson has no legal right to anything in Stieg Larsson's estate -- and that includes publishing a book with his name on it as author.

Still, the door has not been completely slammed shut on the prospect of that mythical fourth Millennium novel ever finding it's way into print. It's clear from the ambiguous language in Random House's statement (i.e. "on the horizon" and "at the moment") that the keepers of the Stieg flame have not ruled out coming to an agreement with Gabrielsson (who claims she possesses the laptop containing the unpublished manuscript). But, for the time being, that horizon is still too far off to see clearly.

  • http://tomblunt.com Tom

    Everyone has their price...

    • I’mJustSaying

      With her autiobiography coming out soon, Eva knows this is her milk cow. And she will milk it for all it's worth. The problem with doing that is that at some point, the cow stops giving milk. The reading public will go on to some other Harry Potter or Bella Swan.

      • Maximus

        @I'mJustSaying:

        Harry Potter or Bella Swan aren't anywhere near the same class as Lisbeth in character or as books.

    • Leslie Beauchamp

      No, not everyone has their price......some people still have integrity of character.....imagine that!!

    • Anita Figueira

      WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!I WISH EVERYTHING COME GOOD FOR LECTORS AND FOR BUSSINESS!!!i READ THE BOOKS ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO,AND THE MOVIES ARE GOOOOD!!!i'm a very hard reading well i only read 2 or 3 books for month dependt but this trylogy need the last part!! i hope yhe family find a good deal!!!

  • Judith

    I agree! Someone will want the money at some point.

  • http://weirdmage.blogspot.com Weirdmage

    There's a lot that doesn't quite add up with Stieg Larsson and his "girlfriend".

    She claims they never got married because that would be public papers in Sweden, and then the nazis would find them.
    But if you are afraid of getting killed by nazis you would think you'd want to make a will that gives the one you share your life with something.

    I live in Norway, and we have the same rules as Sweden, without a will everything goes to blood relatives. Larsson would know this. So if he really wanted Gabrielsson to have anything he was intelligent enough to make that happen.

    Circumstantial evidence, like what I said above, points to her being a liar who is after the money.

    • Esse

      Wierdmage: Actually he claimed it when he was alive. Since Steig Larsson was a well know person i Sweden everyone knows that he and Gabrielsson where together for over 30 years.

      That said, she has not the law on here side how well know the relationsship was.

      But please, no conspiracy theory.

      • http://weirdmage.blogspot.com Weirdmage

        I wouldn't say that what I said was a conspiracy theory.
        Saying she is just after the money was maybe going a bit far of me. But that things do not add up, I stand by.

        Neo-nazis have killed people in Scandinavia before, so the lack of a will combined with not getting married because of fear of the nazis does not quite add up.

        Maybe the truth is that Larsson was just not as connected to real world rules and regulations as he should have been. As is the case with many on the left-wing of European politics. (And I'm a left-wing Norwegian, and can say that I've encountered quite a few people who are like that.)

        I know nothing about Larsson and Gabrielsson's relationship apart from what has emerged after he died. I also have no idea what the relationship between Larsson and his father and brother was.
        What little I've seen said from other people who knew Larsson, doesn't paint the same rosy picture of him as is mostly portrayed in the media.

        The law is clear on who owns everything after Larsson. And that seems to be the only thing that can't be disputed in this case.

    • pj

      I totally agree with you!!! together for 23yrs & never married and no will!! He simply did not want her to end up with any of his estate..

      • Shawn

        I disagree. He was 50 yrs old when he dropped dead of a massive heart attack. Most people that age think they won't die so young and have plenty of time to write up their wills/estate. It was an afterthought that Gabrielsson is now the one paying for it.

      • Joy

        You musn't read intent into mere facts. My 'boyfriend' and I have been together years - we are close to fifty and neither of us has a will. I know for a fact that we wish everything to go to the other in case of death. Unless someone's specific intentions are documented in some way - it is folly to think one can know their true feelings.
        I only hope that the family gets past whatever it is - and gives the world the gift of Larsson's remaining works.

    • Quetzi P. Fernald

      It's possible that there was no will because he hadn't taken in consideration of dying so soon. I don't know what he died of, but maybe it was a sudden death. I'm 57 years old & I still haven't made a will. Also, it really stinks that she has no authority over any of his possessions seeing that they lived together for 35 years. That's a lifetime in itself!
      Anyway, the readers are the ones who are really missing out here. I wish, if there really is a 4th installment in this series, the family would publish the book. If Steig girlfriend wrote with him, maybe she could finish the book for him? That's too bad anyway, I'd love to read more about Salander. She is such an amazing character!

      • http://www.mba.tcu.edu Hoai

        No one in their 50s would be thinking of dying so a will was not a top priority for him as he was planning on retiring from the fortune that he'll be making from the book. If I'm not mistaken, he died at he turned 50 of a massive heart attack; a lifetime of bad eating habit as mentioned in the NY Times article--remember, Bloomviskt is very fond of fastfood? With the impending fortune he should have thought about a will as soon as the manuscripts were submitted. There was a great in-depth article in NY Times not too long after his death. Where was his agent, manager or accountant? Why didn't anybody advised him on the legal matters?

        In my state (TX), Gabrielson would be considered common-law wife which would entitled her to 1/2 of what he earned in his life time. He obviously cared for her a great deal, otherwise, why would he spent more than 30 years with her? That said, the law is the law and it's not on her side, that's so unfortunate! Sweedish law sucks, sorry!

        I hope Gabrielson and his father and brother can come to an understanding so they can publish the 4th book--if the manuscript exists--I mean, with all the money being made by the books and movies, they can't possibly spend all in their life time (father and son) so why being so greedy? Remember, Gabrielson is in possession of the lap top.

        I'm sure we can all agree that we love and miss Lisbeth Salander. I missed her as soon as I finished his 3rd book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest......

      • missingsalander

        I completely agree with you. In the end, a good story is a story worth telling. If anyone is after money, I'd say it is the ones preventing the story to be published.

      • diane james

        I don't care about all the rumors - I just wan a 4th installment to a fabulous trilogy. Don't leave us "hangin"

    • Satya Newday

      In support of the commenter who said not having a will at 50 is not an indication of whether Larrson cared about his girl friend I comment here. I had a heart issue when I was 54, its as common as fireflies in July for 50+ year old. Estate plan and the lack there of is also just as common. Lacking a personal relationship with Larrson makes comments on his and his girlfriend's relationship lacking in reality, if you get my meaning.

    • sheila

      Just like nearly everyone else on earth, Larsson probably put off drafting a will because (a) he thought there was plenty of time and (b) he thought that his wishes would be carried out by those left behind if he should die.

      Most people don't realize that if you don't have a will, your next of kin is your immediate family and they control your estate.

  • http://Girl Ann

    Too sad they are so selfish the deny his fans one last book...they all deserve NONE of the money.

  • Lars Hansen

    Well, that come as no surprice, son and father has lost their wifes, so therfor they can only have time to count all the money... Shame on you!!!

  • mad

    I doubt she's lying about a 32-year relationship, and why would you have to get married to prove it?
    Maybe he did not want or not think of a will...
    why not publish it and create a scholarship for journalism with the profits????
    I doubt the Larssons need any more money and she should really just care about his literary/journalistic legacy anyways (as should his blood relatives).

  • Lisa Moore

    If there was ever a need for a brilliant hacker...

    • Felix

      *smiles and nods* very good.

    • Quetzi P. Fernald

      Hahahaha! Lizbeth Salander would've been the perfect hacker! LOL!

      • ingrid

        Maybe Lizabeth is already hacking into Stieg's computer. The suspense is killing me

    • Jane

      You said it. Where's Lisbeth S. when we need her most?

  • http://www.jackiecarlyle.com jcjcone

    What a sad twist of fate that the woman who shared his life for, what, 30 years, wasn't left a dime when he died because he was so young when he died and didn't think to leave a will. All the money went to his father and brother, who he really had nothing to do with after a falling out many years ago. They have fiercely grabbed his money up. Greed is a terrible thing. This woman loved him and stuck with him through thick and thin. Shame on his father and brother.

  • Carla Maciel

    I'm very disappointed. That is very selfish of them. That really makes me sick.

  • Robbin

    Not having a will is a mistake pretty common among those of us between 40 and 50-something years old. However, a will he made in 1977 left everything to the Socialist Party but since the will was not witnessed by law it was invalid. Since his father and brother know what his intentions were concerning his assets, they could still do that. My question is...why won't they?

  • Don Liponi

    From what I have heard, his family has behaved selfishly and, and to what purpose? They have made a ton of money that they did not earn, apparently ripped off his "wife". Although they may not have been married, they were certainly married in terms of love and commitment. His family should have behaved better towards her and shared his estate. Unlike them, she actually deserved it. Anyone who has heard the story would agree. Greed - what comes around goes around and the whole world knows the motivations of his family. I wish Gabrielsson all the luck and support. The world is behind her and thank you for contributing to the first three stupendous books and I hope all of us will see future books in this series. As a victim of abuse, Lisbeth became a healing person.

    • Quetzi P. Fernald

      I couldn't agree with you more. She lived a lifetime, much longer than most "married" people live together & took care of him, etc. She was his partner in life, so she is deserving of her share, but greed is an ugly thing. :(

  • http://www.dennisocasio.com Dennis

    Unfortunate, how life sometimes resembles fiction.

  • http://www.sonshineportraitdesign.com barb

    I also feel badly that this woman (definite acquaintance) with Steig, is not given free reign to publish the last of the series. She has too know how to carry his style off! If this gives her a break trough in writing herself, then so be it. We are the ones who will benefit. Why can't she write the book in her own name anyway? She has the script. Obviously, he wanted them to stay there or he would have kept them elsewhere.

  • marie

    This is from a great TIME magazine article from last year.
    "Larsson proposed in 1983, but shortly after their engagement he was hired as the Swedish correspondent for Searchlight, a British antiracist, antifascist magazine. From that point on he was forced to keep a low profile. Fascism is a live issue in Sweden, and fascist groups have been known to attack reporters who investigate them. But informational transparency is a point of national pride there too, and married couples must make their addresses public. To stay under the radar, the couple put off their wedding indefinitely."
    Here's the link to the whole article: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1989142,00.html

  • Al

    I'm in the US and I'm fascinated by all this. Stieg Larrson truly created a masterpiece with this trilogy. I always prefer the "movie" over the book. For me it's like a rare find in film and I want to tell all my friends about it. I guess they are working on the English version in Hollywood and I'm not interested. They say that knowing a different language is like discovering a whole new world, becoming a "foreign film aficionado", has been the equivalent to me.....thank you Sweden....

  • ashleigh

    i am not sure how all the legal stuff works on all that but i loved the films i watched them and im from the US and if they remade them in the US without subtitle i would not be interested. Having to read it made it more suspenseful. I hope to see these have a great outcome in the US I love Stieg Larrson!

  • Shooie

    I just want to read the next book. I think that his relatives just want to drag this out. They are the ones that want to milk this for all its got. I was incredibly bummed to find out that he had passed, as then I did not have an opportunity to experience the series. I am so, so sure that she contributed to the manuscripts, and possibly inspired him further too.

  • Mary Jeanne

    I, too, wish they would finish and publish the 4th book. I understand it has a beginning and end, but no middle. Who better to know what he had in mind than his live-in? The fact of no will isn't unusual. Who expects to die? It's a little irresponsible, but understandable. Hopefully, the book will come out at some point. The door was left wide open at the end of book 3 for a continuation.

  • http://Pa.metrocst.net Debbie

    Finally a good reading and now we want more and we will pay for the story and excitement. I read the first and enjoyed iyt extremely. PLEASE keep it coming.

  • http://www.mendezhomes.net Maria Mendez

    Stieg Larrson was one of the most amazing writers of our time. It is said that he passed away so young. I would have enjoyed reading every book published by him. The trilogy he created was absolutely addictive. I've tried to find a writer that equals his writings and to date nothing. We will miss you Stieg Larrson.

  • Nate

    They have no right to keep "art" away from so many people who could enjoy it. Stieg wrote the book not to keep on his laptop but to share with the world.

  • Liz

    Sad that people are saying that girlfriend has no rights... I understand LAW, but if you are in relationship for that many years and still young - you don't think about wills and don't think that family will shut you out.
    I was in a 15+ year relationship, never married - never wanted that "contract" - and he died suddenly. I am GRATEFUL that his family consulted me in many aspects of his estate.
    Money sets in greed and causes riffs, and I am deeply saddened that someone that spent 35 years together with someone seems to have no rights - legal or moral. If he didn't love her, he would not have spent that much time with her, and shame on those who think otherwise.

  • Olin

    In many areas (parts of the US, UK,Australia, Canada, etc.) Stieg and his girlfriend Eva would have been considered a common-law marriage due to how long they had been living together and she would have had rights. It's too bad Stieg didn't have a will though don't understand what the fuss is over the family is already getting money for the first 3 books and since they say they don't have any plans to publish the fourth would it really kill them to let Eva do it since she is the one with the manuscript already? The brother and father though I don't like they had names in the book changed which was against Stieg's wishes so I'm more sympathetic with Eva.

  • Venke

    On the question of marriage, as they had no children, and tax laws being as they are in Scandinavia, it may not have been in their financial best interests to marry. Having family in both Norway and Sweden, I have a number of cousins who have been in 20+ year relationships and have not married.

    It is regrettable that there was no will, but to claim that she is only doing it for the money seems far reaching to me. They were together for over 30 years. That is longer than most marriages survive.

    My husband and I decided to marry after living together for 10 years. Even though I had given him Power of Attorney and named him in my will, I feared my family contesting my wishes. Let's just say that I am thankful that we did marry over 11 years ago. My fears were valid.

    This is a regrettable lesson for all those that are in committed relationships without the protection of the marriage contract.

    I hope that if there is a 4th installment that it sees the light of day. It would be a terrible shame that such a masterful writer's final work be denied an audience.

  • ELH

    I can't say I am all that disappointed that the fourth novel will not be published. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest had enough resolution to satisfy me. I'm not sure adding to the series would be a good idea, unless someone knew Larsson and his characters well enough to bring the entire series to an appropriate resolution.

  • Candie

    I wish the fourth novel to be finished by his mate and published for us to read, and I hope it makes her wealthy enough to live on comfortably for as long as she needs.

    Furthermore, all of you out there without a will should have one done or your family's may just as well take advantage of your significant other in the event of your death, happens just like this all of the time. You can make a will yourself all you have to have is two witness watch you sign, then they sign, all in the presence of a notary. Doesn't have to be fancy but does have to be witnessed, then tell the important people where the original is kept so that it can be found & followed in the event of your death. It really is just that easy!

  • charlotte from clovis

    I so so so have enjoyed these books!! Stumbled on to them and it was the best stumble ever. I wasn't even aware that I liked such suspenseful writings. Thank you, Stieg and Eva, living with someone for a lifetime means that both people have much input into the writing of these books. I do so hope to see a 4th and final book, if it has been so written. Money is truly the root of all or many evils. Lisbeth S. wow wow wow, what an awesome character!!!

    • http://www.google.com/ Graceland

      At last! Someone with real expterise gives us the answer. Thanks!

  • Rachele

    This is because Stieg Larsson's common law wife of a couple of decades before he died helped him research and write the first three and his parents and siblings have absolutly no talent in writing. They sued her for full rights to the books and won in a Swedish court because they were not legally married. She was not even compensated for her years of hardwork helping him.

  • evilcheeba

    It is unfortunate that the reading public is going to have to wait for a fourth book. Fact is, it will probably come out at some point. Hopefully it comes out sooner rather than later, so it will find its audience. I'll read it next month or five years from now, love the characters. And the business of no will, I understand it. 50 is still relatively young and with no kids to worry about it isn't a pressing issue. My wife and I are in our mid-30's and have a will in the works, but we have a kid to worry about and need to protect his financial future from an opportunistic birth father. Got to cover our bases, or his bases as the case may be.

  • http://na Whitney

    OK. I not only own all 3 of the books, (actually i bought 2 copies of "The Girl Who Played With Fire) The books on audio, and the movies, but I can guarantee I have been responsible for selling 50+ copies to people I don't even know while browsing through the mystery/thriller section of Borders, and Barnes and Noble. These were the best books I have ever read. I consider myself a sane person with a pretty good grip on reality (sometimes sadly!), but I felt like these people were real. Like I knew them. I got soooo in to these characters, and stories. Im positive Lisbeth would love me!! (Ok, maybe I am a little off) anyway, as someone who paid for these 2 men to live nicely for the rest of their lives, since his significant other didn't see any of the royalties, which is WRONG, the least they could do is let me, and every other obsessed fan see what Steig had in store for Lisbeth and Mikael. With them not letting the last one be released tells me not only do they not know what Steig would want, but they don't care.

  • Cheryl

    You know how the media reports...skewed here...skewed there. No one knows the whole truth. But I can tell you that I will buy Gabrielson's book. No one knows Steig better than she, and that's a fact. I am very curious about his life, their life, together. Who better than she, to continue to saga of Lisbeth and Mikel.

  • Alieshlou

    I wanted more after book 3, a crying shame.

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