Stieg Larsson, My Friend
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Five years after his death, Stieg Larsson is best known as the author of the Millennium Trilogy, but during his career as a journalist he was a crucial protagonist in the battle against racism and for democracy in Sweden, and one of the founders of the anti-facist magazine Expo. Kurdo Baksi first met Larsson in 1992; it was the beginning of an intense friendship, and a fruitful but challenging working relationship. In this candid and rounded memoir, Baksi answers the questions a multitude of Larsson's fans have already asked, about his upbringing; the recurring death threats; his insomnia and his vices; his feminism - so evident in his books - and his dogmatism. What was he like as a colleague? Who provided the inspiration for his now-immortal characters (Baksi is one of the few who appears in the trilogy as himself)? Who was Lisbeth Salander?
carry on, also answering the next one even though it was late at night. I don’t know when and where these ghosts and phantoms first attacked Stieg, perhaps around the mid-1980s. It is hard to imagine any other Swede being threatened more often than he was during the last twenty years of his life. Nevertheless, he was very good at hiding his worries. Presumably so as not to worry anybody else, least of all Eva. So what were his crimes, according to the racists? Obviously all the critical
Most of the women to whom I present a rose are pleased. I am hugged by a lot of young and elderly ones. It warms the heart. But naturally, not everybody is pleased. Quite a few young women tell me, “Yes to equality, no to a rose.” In a way, I understand them. I even feel a bit embarrassed. Perhaps I ought not to continue doing this next year. After all, roses have thorns. I am quite sure that Stieg and I hit upon this idea together. But then, maybe we should also have considered handing out
the 1980s. Part Two, “The International Scene”, depicts the growth of racism in Italy, Great Britain, the U.S., France, Germany, Denmark and Norway, and of right-wing extremism in the rest of Europe. The third and final part deals with political violence and criminality linked to the Swedish far right. The book contains several astonishing analyses of the growth of intolerance, especially in Europe. In a number of countries xenophobic parties have regularly been part of coalition governments.
shot at my flat in November. It is as if everything horrible in my life happens during that month, when the Swedish winter makes the days dark and gloomy. It’s said that Swedes always talk about the weather, and I have to agree that it’s true. But they are dependent on the weather, and the climate is cruel. In October it is just about possible for brief spells of life-giving Indian summer to interrupt the nasty, damp autumn weather and brighten up people’s minds. But November is ruthless,
the time reveals a remarkable phenomenon. Quite a lot of people in Sweden are murdered by neo-Nazis shortly after parliamentary elections. According to statistics, the year after an election can be critical for people who don’t “look Swedish” and who have names that are difficult to pronounce, Swedish anti-racists, anybody who has adopted a non-Scandinavian child, local politicians and journalists who expose racist tendencies. Of all the horrific racist outrages, one stands out. It took place on