December 18, 2013
New author to write fourth book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series
by Zeljka Marosevic
Yesterday, Stieg Larsson’s original Swedish publisher Norstedts Förlag announced that it will publish a fourth book in Larsson’s Millennium series. Larsson’s posthumous novels The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest were phenomenally successful international bestsellers and sold more than 73 million copies worldwide. But the books were always meant to be part of a 10-book series, which Larsson did not live to complete: he died of a heart attack in 2004.
Now Norstedts Förlag have announced that the Swedish author David Lagercrantz will write the fourth book in the series, which will be published by Quercus in the UK. Lagercrantz wrote I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the memoir of the footballer, which in its Amazon description is compared to both Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint.
Quercus chief executive Mark Smith told the Bookseller : David Lagercrantz is a critically acclaimed author and we look forward to seeing where he takes Stieg Larsson’s much loved characters.” While Lagercrantz himself commented endearingly to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: “Help, what can you say, I hope this will work out. It is amazing and I have already started writing, but it is a huge responsibility.” But he also stressed that his contribution would not build on or adapt the 200 pages or so of a fourth volume that Larsson had begun writing before his death:
“This is not that, this is something new. I am creating my own intrigue, but he has left strings of ideas for me to follow. I will carry on his legacy, I will keep his characters, but I also have to give something of my own. The characters will continue but also evolve.”
And while Lagercrantz will take on the characters of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, the new book will be “a standalone part of the Millennium series.” Christopher MacLehose of Quercus imprint MacLehose Press recognized both the sadness and opportunity of the new venture in a statement to the Bookseller:
“In one sense the chance to publish a new novel in the Millennium series merely underlines the sorrow of every one of his readers that Stieg Larsson could not have gone on to complete his planned 10-book oeuvre. But—and it is now almost a new and certainly fabled genre—the sequel by another hand has been long anticipated and David Lagercrantz will keep a very great storyteller’s flame alive. MacLehose Press are delighted to help him do that.”
Larsson joins a growing number of authors, whose series have been continued after their deaths, including the James Bond series which has now been taken on by Sebastian Faulks and William Boyd.
Zeljka Marosevic is the former managing director of Melville House UK.