"There Are Things I Want You to Know" about Stieg Larsson and Me
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Here is the real inside story—not the one about the Stieg Larsson phenomenon, but rather the love story of a man and a woman whose lives came to be guided by politics and love, coffee and activism, writing and friendship. Only one person in the world knows that story well enough to tell it with authority. Her name is Eva Gabrielsson.
Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson shared everything, starting when they were both eighteen until his untimely death thirty-two years later at the age of fifty. In “There Are Things I Want You to Know” about Stieg Larsson and Me, Eva Gabrielsson accepts the daunting challenge of telling the story of their shared life steeped in love and sharpened in the struggle for justice and human rights. She chooses to tell it in short, spare, lyrical chapters, like snapshots, regaling Larsson’s readers with the inside account of how he wrote, why he wrote, who the sources were for Lisbeth and his other characters—graciously answering Stieg Larsson’s readers’ most pressing questions—and at the same time telling us the things we didn’t know we wanted to know—about love and loss, death, betrayal, and the mistreatment of women.
EVA GABRIELSSON is an architect, author, and political activist. Currently her architectural practice includes housing and office construction and heading a European Union initiative to create sustainable architecture in the Dalecarlia region. As an author, in addition to working with Stieg Larsson on his writing projects, she is the coauthor of several books, including a monograph on the subject of cohabitation in Sweden, a Swedish government study on how to create more sustainable housing, and a forthcoming study on the Swedish urban planner Per Olof Hallman. She has also translated into Swedish Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. As an activist, she works to stop violence against women. In 2010 she served as a consultant on a Danish adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by the Nørrebro Theatre Company.
Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson met in 1972, when they were both eighteen, and lived and wrote together from 1974 until his death in 2004. Their struggle together for social justice was the basis for the books in Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.
"Fans of [Stieg Larsson's] books looking for an intimate peek into the life of a man who summoned a dark scary version of Sweden will not be disappointed. The book is a short, highly emotional tour through a widow's grief and dispossession, and the details of the couple's life together are jarringly juxtaposed with blood feuds and score-settling. People wtih an adjacency to fame often try to glom onto a piece of it, but Gabrielsson is up to something more ambitious and personal"
—New York Times Book Review
"In this candid, moving work, Gabrielsson chronicles her life's journey with her longtime companion, Stieg Larsson, the Swedish creator of the Millennium trilogy who died suddenly at age 50, in 2004, before the first volume of his phenomenally successful work (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in English) was even published. Much of their political engagement and feminism is reflected in the Millennium books, the writing of which developed much later in Larsson's career--as Gabrielsson, evidently the person who understood him as few did, warmly, lovingly depicts in this spirited defense of their relationship."
"You learn a lot about [Stieg Larsson's] fight against neo-Nazis but nothing about life behind the bedroom door, which is kind of refreshing... if you are obsessed with Larsson's writing, not the man, dig in."
"Gabrielsson does recall her personal life with Larsson: the prosaic details of their devotion to coffee, and the bigger picture of their shared political passions (Trotskyism, anti-racism, feminism). "There Are Things" is a sad tome, about a tragic loss compounded by betrayal, exploitation and greed."
—Los Angeles Times
"[Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson] seemed to have everything in common, from their love of coffee and science fiction to their commitment to activism against racism and in support of women's rights. The couple's mutual passion for these causes is reflected on every page of the Millennium Trilogy..."
"...provides stunning, strong explications of Larsson’s ideologies, most notably his feminism... As a legal drama, it’s compelling. As a story of two lives entwined, for three decades of working toward something that was never shared, it’s even more."
—The Globe and Mail
"Gabrielsson's memoir is full of vignettes of Larsson's life, from his childhood to their time together in social and political struggles. Fans of his novel will delight in the reasons why he chose details for his fiction."
—The Winnipeg Free Press
“For the millions of readers and filmgoers who’ve been hooked by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its trilogy, “There Are Things I Want You to Know” about Stieg Larsson and Me is a book not to be missed. Eva Gabrielsson, his life partner, tells us the reasons he was able to see the world through female eyes, his punishment for challenging a form of injustice still thought of as inevitable, and the aftermath of a success he didn’t live to see.”
“She describes their life together in moving detail, and in so doing, begins to stake her claim as the Millennium saga’s rightful heir. … And not only is she Stieg, but—wronged by an unjust, patriarchal society—she is Salander. Fans can now root for Gabrielsson, too, just as we have for Larsson’s heroine.”
—SASHA WATSON in Slate
“A simple and engaging book.”
“Ms. Gabrielsson puts Larsson’s often chaotic life into context.”
—The Independent (London)
“Gabrielsson speaks plainly and a powerful tale unfolds. “There Are Things I Want You to Know” is a remarkable achievement.”
—BEVERLY GOLOGORSKY, author of The Things We Do to Make It Home