Yesterday, the CBC ran an interview with Stieg Larsson’s companion of 30 years, Eva Gabrielsson, who addressed recent claims that the author’s brother and father made to CBS earlier this week.
Declining to discuss the content of the secret fourth book that she possesses — “We heard a rumor that it’s set in the Canadian arctic!” the interviewer presses, to no avail — she shared some of the nitty-gritty details about the bargaining she’s done with the family of the author. She confirmed that she turned down the Larssons’ offer of some $2 million for her cooperation in publishing the books. “They also offered me a seat in their company but they own the company so I would have no formal legal rights,” Ms. Gabrielsson said. “So it would be a position that would have no meaning apart from a sort of, I don’t know, alibi?”
In his New York Times Magazine piece, Charles McGrath points out to Mr. Larsson’s father that $2 million isn’t much compared to the books’ massive proffits. He responds, “How much money do you make?”
Ms. Gabrielsson goes on to claim that all she wants from the family is some sort of creative control. She seems legitimately angry that the name of the books were changed from their more drastic Swedish versions (e.g. Men Who Hate Women) and also says, cryptically, that she could not give the Larsson’s her deceased companions’ computer even if she wanted to because “a journalist’s computer, regardless of who owns it, is protected by the freedom of the press act in the Swedish constitution, meaning sources are not to be revealed and these things.”
She comes across as extremely sympathetic in the interview, which plays into the larger narrative that was established by Mr. McGrath. When the interviewer asks how she’s been holding up since the death of the author she replies, “Have you read Joan Didion, Year of Magical Thinking? That’s what it’s like, from one day to the next.”