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Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm

Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm

by Kurdo Baksi, Laurie Thompson (Translator)

An intimate memoir that provides a unique perspective on the life and legacy of Stieg Larsson, author of The Millennium Trilogy.
“He was both a dream and a nightmare to work with. He was not only involved in the struggle against intolerance, he was obsessed with it” are the words used to describe the now world-famous author Stieg Larsson by his


An intimate memoir that provides a unique perspective on the life and legacy of Stieg Larsson, author of The Millennium Trilogy.
“He was both a dream and a nightmare to work with. He was not only involved in the struggle against intolerance, he was obsessed with it” are the words used to describe the now world-famous author Stieg Larsson by his friend and close colleague, Kurdo Baksi, who himself was a prominent character in The Millennium Trilogy. During Larsson’s career as a journalist he was a crucial figure in the battle against racism and for democracy in Sweden as one of the founders of the anti-fascist magazine Expo. Baksi first met Larsson in 1992, triggering an intense friendship and a fruitful, but challenging, working relationship.
in this candid memoir, Baksi answers the questions a multitude of Larsson’s fans have already asked about his childhood, the recurring death tretas, his insomnia, his vices, and his feminism—so evident in his books— as well as his own personal dogma. What was he like as an individual and author? Who provided the inspiration for his now-immortal characters (Baksi is one of the few who appears in the trilogy as himself), and of course, who was Lisbeth Salander?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For anyone who devoured the Millennium trilogy, this heartfelt memoir adds more to Larsson's background. Baksi, who appears in the trilogy as himself, was a good friend and co-worker of Larsson's for more than 10 years. So shattering was Larsson's sudden death, it took Baksi "almost five years of mourning" before he could begin writing about Larsson. There is no doubting Larsson's talent as a writer of thrilling and complex fiction. But Baksi's intention in this informative piece is ensuring that a vital aspect of Larsson's personality not be forgotten: "For most of us he was a tireless hero in the fight against racism--there was no battle for democracy and equality that he was unwilling to take part in." Larsson was consumed by a battle he waged against the rising wave of neo-Nazis in Sweden. He dealt with a multitude of death threats for the last 20 years of his life, due to his tireless exposure of their activities in Expo, his antiracist magazine. In this moving tribute to his friend, Baksi also delivers insights on Larsson's extreme work habits, poor diet, feminism, and his biggest pleasure, reading. Now readers can learn a little more about "a man with unique and contradictory character traits of a type one rarely encounters." (Dec.)
Library Journal
Written by a longtime colleague and friend of the late Larsson's, Olof Palme Prize winner Baksi's "memoir of a friendship" illuminates the character of the man who wrote the best-selling The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels. According to Baksi, Larsson was a man who valued equality—for women, minorities, and all other oppressed peoples—above all else, including his own safety. Larsson lived under constant fear for his own life for decades owing to his authorship of antiracist tracts, and it is this passion for supporting the oppressed that Baksi, himself a Swedish journalist of Kurdish descent, claims informs Larsson's work as a novelist. As interesting as these revelations are, the book, at least in this translation, does not come across as well written, though whether the author or translator is responsible is unclear. References to people and organizations (e.g., Vidkun Quisling, Tidningarnas Telegrambyra) that may be evident to the Swedish reader are not explained, the prose meanders, and the dots are not connected on some of Baksi's pronouncements that he assumes to be obvious.Verdict An interesting read for die-hard "Millennium Trilogy" fans, but otherwise a pass.—Megan Hodge, Randolph-Macon Coll. Lib., Ashland, VA
USA Today
“Not a full-length bio in any sense, this quirky, oddly compelling memoir presents Larsson as a man consumed by a passion…Egalitarian to the bone, he was a workaholic who wrote fiction for fun but knew it was good. On the surface unassuming, he intended to change the world.”
Kirkus Reviews

A portrait of the late Swedish crime novelist by a longtime friend and fellow crusading journalist.

"I'm fifty, damn it!" Thus, writes Kurdish-Swedish writer Baksi, Larsson's last words. Felled by a heart attack, Larsson—born Karl Stig-Erland Larsson in 1954, his nom de guerre a teenage adaptation—had crammed more than a few decades of living into his sleepless days. It should come as no mystery to fans of his work, and particularly of the Millennium Trilogy, that Larsson was fascinated by the dark, hidden corners of Swedish society, and particularly by the neo-Nazi element that lay just beneath the surface and was (and is) more influential than outsiders might ever have expected. Hired as a graphic artist by a newspaper, but then drifting into investigative journalism, Larsson threw himself into the antiracist, antifascist cause, where he met Baksi, the editor of a paper that addressed immigrant issues. Larsson's devotion to that fight and his assertions that the neo-Nazis had thoroughly infiltrated the Swedish police led to numerous death threats, and he was always in trouble with his editors—for one thing, since he refused to even pretend to objectivity. Baksi attributes his early death to stress, though the 20 cups of coffee and two or three packs of cigarettes he consumed daily probably didn't help. Larsson's antifascist journalism defined him, but readers outside Sweden will take greater interest in the genesis of his crime novels. Baksi provides only a little insight there, noting that Larsson composed all three books in the trilogy at the same time, writing a chapter in one book, then a chapter in the second, then a chapter in the third; he also enumerates Larsson's many influences, from Harlan Ellison to Elizabeth George.

Readable but sometimes maudlin, adding up to not much more than notes for a future biographer.

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Kurdo Baksi was born in 1965 in northern Kurdistan and moved to Sweden in 1980. He first published the magazine Rash U Spi (“Black and White”) in 1987,
which deals with racial issues across Europe. He is the author of ten books on human rights, racism, emigration and exile, and in 2000 he was awarded the Olaf
Palme Peace Prize.

Laurie Thompson is the distinguished translator of the novels of Henning Mankell, Hakan Nesser, and
Ake Edwardson. He was editor of Swedish Book Review

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