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David Lagercrantz on his next Lisbeth Salander-book: ”Now I have her in my veins”

David Lagercrantz.
David Lagercrantz. Other: Hilda Arneback

David Lagercrantz’s second book in the Millennium-series, with the Swedish title ”The Man who Chased his Shadow”, is ready to be published. In this book the main character Lisbeth Salander is imprisoned in a harsh women’s jail when she gets new information about her past.

DN has spoken to the author.

This autumn, on September 7th, ”The Man who Chased his Shadow” (Swedish title) will be released around the world. Just as the latest book in the Millennium-series, it’s written by David Lagercrantz.

In this book Lisbeth Salander, who has become the main character in the series, is in jail for the mercy crime she committed in the latest book ”The Girl in the Spider’s Web”. In jail Salander is fighting not to get involved in the other interns’ conflicts. Her former trustee Holger Palmgren and her companion Mikael Blomqvist decide to pay Salander a visit to talk about her past. They find a story about state abuse, honour problems and shadows from a childhood that still haunts Lisbeth Salander.

”I have to remain faithful to the universe created by Stieg Larsson”, says author David Lagercrantz.


”He is always hovering above me. I know the reason that the last book was so successful is the fact that I was riding on his success, his creation. The task of writing these books is an enormous responsibility, especially since the pressure from abroad is so huge. My job is to find a plot that will continue to make sense. In the end I have.”

David Lagercrantz calls prison a ”perfect environment for Lisbeth”. While writing he visited the Swedish high security prison Hall.

”You meet some interesting people there, people who want to do harm and people who would want to challenge someone like Lisbeth. I have created a harsh women’s prison, and finding that environment was a revelation for me”, says David Lagercrantz.

David Lagercrantz says he was terrified before the release of ”The Girl in the Spider’s Web”.

”I could’ve fallen so hard”.

But in the end he landed softly. Lagercrantz’s sequel to the trilogy written by Stieg Larsson received positive – if somewhat lukewarm – reviews around the world. The book sold six million copies in more than forty countries.

As he is getting ready to share his second Millennium-book, the fifth in the series, David Lagercrantz says he is feeling a lot calmer than with the last one.

”I always struggle in the beginning of writing, and I think that everything will go to hell. But I was a lot less anxious this time, which made writing the book more pleasurable. The success of ”The Girl in the Spider’s web” gave me the self confidence to make this book my own. With the last book I was scared that I would make it too short. Stieg Larsson used to write really thick books, but this time I have cut things out and tightened things up more.

Why were you so anxious?

”The whole thing was so controversial. Both for myself as an author and for the publisher. I was terrified that I would not do justice to the world that Stieg Larsson created. I was so meticulous about getting to know that world and the codes. Most of all I needed to grasp the strange but interesting character of Lisbeth Salander. Now I have her in my veins.”

I ask him why he wanted to write these books.

”For one simple reason: I became obsessed with the characters. One of them is a middle-aged journalist whom I can relate to. The other one is a character who is so far from me, but whose mystery fascinates me. I understood the importance of what I was doing, like a journalist who gets a job that will determine everything. But the weight of it all unburdened me as a writer. That’s what determined the success. I poured my heart and soul into writing the book”.

David Lagercrantz will write one more book in the serie, but that will be his last one. On that he is adamant.

”I definitely won’t write any more of them. I want to move on, stand on my own legs again. A lot of authors write the same book over and over again. I respect that, but I want to try new things now,” says David Lagercrantz.

Translation: Evelyn Jones.

Rättelse 2017-02-17 09:00
In a previous version of the text incorrect information about how many books David Lagercrantz will write in the serie was given.
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