I’ve been in two minds about whether this blog post should come before tomorrow’s, or after it. It’s also been on my mind for some time, and whereas there was never any doubt about writing it, I have to tread carefully.
While I’m only going to say what’s already in the public domain, that’s not to say people won’t be annoyed. I was intrigued to find that Stieg Larsson’s brother Joakim has set up a website to tell his side of the story. Having long been rather anti-Joakim, I was impressed by what he had to say. He sounds so very reasonable.
But then, of course, that’s how you sway opinion in whatever direction you want it to go. At roundabout the same time Stieg’s friend Annika Bryn was saying how she sometimes talked on the phone with Joakim. Another positive fact. So, I didn’t know what to think. But the fact remains that I heard with my own ears what Larssons senior and junior said in that television programme from a few years ago. You can’t unsay stuff like that, even through the most level headed website.
And then there was the book by Dan Burstein in which Annika was going to write about her friendship with Stieg. Joakim was positive to this. He told her so himself. He was looking forward to reading it. I don’t have all the ins and outs of this, but late in the proceedings Mr Burstein wanted Annika to include her emails from Stieg.
She asked Joakim’s permission. (Now I, personally, wouldn’t have asked, on the grounds that I’d feel those emails were ‘mine’.) When the reply finally came it was a resounding ‘no’.
Again, I don’t know or understand the details, but for some reason it was decided that Annika would no longer contribute to the book about Stieg. Maybe they were only ever after those few emails, and not her version of the friendship.
My own mercenary reaction when hearing this news was to check she at least got paid for all her work. She was paid. And then she gave all the money to charity.
Sara Paretsky’s view of whether or not Annika should contribute in the first place, was that we need more females writing about Stieg. I agree. I doubt that after this I will be sent a copy of the Burstein book to review, but I’d like to see how the balance of the sexes looks.
I gather that Dan Burstein found my earlier blog post, so no doubt he will find this one as well. I may have got facts wrong, but what you can’t alter is that there will be one fewer female contributing.
And I wonder what selfless Joakim will do with the emails he owns the rights to?