Tag Archives: Stieg Larsson

Steig Larsson, La reine dans le palais des courants d’air (Millénium 3)

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It must be third time I read this book in the past 5 years. It always fun to plunge again in the intricacies of the plot and to rediscover all the details that were left out of the Swedish TV series. Just like coming home into a well-known story.

Some of my favorite characters in this story are women: Rosa Figuerola, Sonia Modig, and Annika Giannini.

Rosa Figuerola works for a government agency that investigates activities contrary to the Swedish constitution. She is essentially a specialized policewoman. She is also a former bodybuilder who like to keep in shape, is interested in many things (Mikael Blomkvist finds her reading a book about the perception of gods in Antiquity) and she is a fiercely independent women with a healthy perception of what she likes to have in her life or not.

Sonia Modig is a police investigator who confronts a colleague who has a very negative attitude towards women in general and especially lesbians. She is smart and very good at her job. She is also courageous under pressure in spite of worrying about her personal safety (in the context of being a mother and having a responsibility to her family to stay alive!). She is instrumental in saving the lives of Mikael Blomkvist and Erica Berger when they are attacked by hired killers in a Stockholm restaurant.

Annika Giannini is Mikael Blomkvist’s sister. She is a lawyer specialized in women’s issues and she takes on the defense of Lisbeth Salander in a criminal trial even though this is not her specialty. Her quick wits and sense of timing, as well as her sense of integrity, enable her to effectively defend Lisbeth and counter the Section’s shenanigans aiming at institutionalizing Lisbeth again.

Given the author’s interest in women’s issues, it is not surprising to find a number of women characters in his books meeting significant challenges head-on and possessing many talents enabling them to succeed.

Reference

Larsson, Steig. La reine dans le palais des courants d’air. Actes Sud, 2007.

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The Wennerstrom Affairs

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In the fictional world I live in most of the time, the Wennerstrom Affair is a big part of the story in Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s the story that lands Mikael Blomkvist in jail after he is sued for libel (I think that’s what it was).

But as I was reading Klas Östergren’s Gentlemen this week, I was surprised to see this author also refer to a Wennerstrom Affair that had occured in the 1960s. I googled it in the off-chance that he was refering to some real event, and lo and behold, he was! Stig Wennerstrom was  a Swedish air force office who was a spy for the Russian during the Cold War. He was eventually arrested in 1963 and condemned, and served 10 years in prison before being released. He died in 2006 at the age of 99 (after Steig Larsson and much older!).

So I was wonder whether Steig Larsson used the name “Wennerstrom” for a reason or because it is really an ordinary name in Sweden (I could not find any information about the frequency of it).

I like finding little connections between things and looking for trivia… not necessarily a great use of my time, but it’s fun.