LISBETH SALANDER IS COMING TO THEATRES!
Although we already wrote about the Millennium Trilogy in the series of articles about publishing phenomena of the last decade, the Scandinavian Noir story wouldn’t be complete without its brightest star - Stieg Larsson, the man behind Lisbeth Salander.
Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) was a journalist, mostly known for his struggle against racism and right-wing extremism. He was one of the founders of the Expo-Foundation, a group intending on exposing Neo-Nazi activities in Sweden. During the last fefteen years of his life, he was under constant threat from right-wing extremists.
Through his work and in the interviews with the press, Larsson admitted that American and British crime fiction writers such as Sara Paretsky, Agatha Christie, Val McDermid Dorothy Sayers and Enid Blyton significantly influenced his work. The strongest inspiration, however, came from the literature of his own country: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. His main character, unforgettable Lisbeth Salander, was shaped based on Pippi Longstocking. Larssen wanted to explore how different characters from children's books would manage and behave if they were alive and grown up. Larssen especially liked the idea about a grown up Pippi Longstocking, a dysfunctional girl with borderline personality, who would have had a hard time finding a regular place in the 'normal society” and he used part of those characteristics when he created Lisbeth Salander. There are also similarities between Stieg's heroine and Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise: traumatic childhood, amazing life skills and survivor instincts, operating outside of law...
Larsson's literary legacy is three supreme crime novels that we know as the "Millennium Trilogy": The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. A "second violin" in the first novel, a side-kick who assists Mikael Blomkvist's investigation, Lisbeth Salander supremely dominates in the sequel.
Larsson's novels are now being filmed. The productions of all three movies began in the spring 2008. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, after being seen by more than 6 million people in the Nordic countries, opens on Friday, April 16, in Canada and the States. The movie was directed by Niels Arden Oplev, with Michael Nyquist (as Blomkvist) and Noomi Repace (as Salander) in the main roles, and has already grossed US$100 million.