If you've whipped through Stieg Larsson's crime novels: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, or The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest, you've been introduced to Lisbeth Salander's Stockholm. Read Christopher Hitchens' Vanity Fair article about the author, and you'll discover Larsson's own life was also fueled with drama. As a political activist and journalist, Larsson was dedicated to exposing the Swedish extreme right and racist organizations. When he died of a massive heart attack in 2004 at age 50, he was rumored to have been murdered because of his politics.
But, the drama didn't end there. Though his 1977 will was found soon after his death and decreed that his assets be left to the Communist Workers league, it was declared invalid since it had not been witnessed. As a result, Larsson's estate went to his father and his brother, with whom Larsson reportedly had had little contact with for years. Meanwhile, Larsson's 30-year partner, Eva Gabrielsson, who found the will, had no legal right to the inheritance. According to Swedish law, couples entering into marriage must make their addresses publicly available. To protect themselves from the death threats Larsson received, the couple masked their addresses, personal data, and identity numbers from public records. This would have been impossible if they had tied the knot, so the couple never legalized their union.
While the drama continues to play out as Eva Gabrielsson tells her side of the story in her upcoming book, you can see Larsson's pages come to life in the 2010 Larsson's Sweden sweepstakes. One winner will receive round-trip air fare for two to Stockholm on Scandinavian Airlines, passes to explore Lisbeth Alander's Stockholm, 3 nights at the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel, plus one night at the Seglarhotellet in Sandham in the Stockholm archipelago. Yes, it's a far cry from Paris, but sometimes you just have to mix things up. Book it and enter.
Voilà - the link to Larsson's Sweden Sweepstakes: