Before his death from a sudden heart attack in 2004, Stieg Larsson was known for his workaholic lifestyle. He ran the anti-racist magazine Expo and wrote freelance articles aimed at exposing Swedish neo-Nazis by night, and worked at the TT news agency as a graphic artist and journalist by day. The biography is written by a colleague of Stieg Larsson at the TT news agency. According to the Swedish newspaper The Local:
In the book, entitled ‘Min vän Stieg Larsson’ (My Friend Stieg Larsson), journalist Kurdo Baksi alleges that the famed author of the Millennium series of novels, who also worked at the Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (TT), wrote biased articles and even invented material.
Eva Gabrielsson, the long-time partner of best-selling author Stieg Larsson, has slammed the new book.
”Kurdo is trying to do a character assassination of Stieg as a journalist. This is pure slander,” Gabrielsson told the Swedish television channel SVT. Gabrielsson says that Stieg Larsson only cooperated with Baksi for a short period on an anti-racist magazine and a few political articles in the 1990s and that Baksi did not actually know the author that well.
Other prominent people, among them Åsa Linderborg in Aftonbladet and Stieg Larsson’s former boss at TT, Kenneth Ahlborn, supports Eva Gabrielsson. Ahlborn says the claims are false and an attempt to grab the media spotlight.
”I was Stieg’s boss. We worked in the same room every day. If anyone should speak about his relationship to TT it should be me. The assertion that he could make up biased, objectionable articles is so bizarre. We don’t work like that at TT and Stieg was not like that,” he said. In an article in Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Tuesday, Ahlborn wrote that Baksi’s publishers should withdraw the book unless the allegations can be proven.
There has been a lot of controversy in Sweden following Stieg Larsson’s untimely death and spectacular success. And I am sure there is more ahead.