Stockholm Syndrome: An Annotated Guide to the “Next Stieg Larsson” in Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair, which features an excerpt from Eva Gabrielsson’s memoir in its July issue, also compiles a list of writers touted as “the next Stieg Larsson.” Read the list here.

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2 Responses to Stockholm Syndrome: An Annotated Guide to the “Next Stieg Larsson” in Vanity Fair

  1. jenny says:

    I agree that Kurt Wallander is a great character, but that doesn’t mean that they had to say disparaging comments about Mr Stiegs own character. Kurt is in no way as compelling or believeable as Lisbeth. Or were they referring to Blomkvist? What do you guys think about that list?

    • American media have tended to lump all the Scandinavian writers together, and to promote the search for “the next Stieg Larsson.” In Sweden, however, Mankell and Larsson are seen as very different writers. Mankell was publishing detective/police novels long before Larsson, and, owing to Larsson’s untimely death, will outlive him in a publishing sense. Mankell’s Kurt Wallander is a pathbreaking character in a certain kind of “social realism” approach to police procedurals. Larsson, who reflects a much greater range of genres in his books–detective, spy thriller, super hero, action adventure, outsider art, science fiction, anime, etc.–has welded all these together to form the character of Lisbeth. She may or may not be more “realistic” than Wallander, but she is certainly more compelling. Millions of readers all over the world in every culture are continuing to root for Lisbeth, and hope there is a fourth book, whereas after you close the Wallander book, you usually don’t think much more about him until you read the next one. In our book, The Tattooed Girl, I have argued that Lisbeth is the 21st century descendant of Huck Finn in the 19th century and Holden Caulfield in the 20th century–among the most compelling characters ever created in literature. There are a lot of talented writers and many interesting cultural trends coming out of Scandinavian countries today. And many other writers worth reading. But there will not be “another Stieg Larsson.”


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