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Stieg Larsson's companion prepares for the book tour he never took

Eva Gabrielsson, longtime companion of "Millennium" author Larsson, will tour the US, promoting her memoir and raising awareness about her lawsuit.

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There have also been questions about who controls the unfinished manuscript – said to be a fourth book in the "Millennium" series – that Larsson left behind on a laptop computer.

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Gabrielsson and Larsson never married, even though they lived together for 30 years, and while he had a will (which, incidentally, would have given his estate to the local branch of the Communist Workers League in Umea, Sweden), it was not witnessed and therefore not valid. His father and brother reportedly offered to settle the dispute with Gabrielsson for 20 million Swedish kronor, or roughly $3.3 million. But she declined.

“This is a proud woman,” her friend, Jan M. Moberg, a Norwegian IT executive, said in a telephone interview with the Monitor. “She will not be bought.”

Mr. Moberg said that he first learned of Gabrielsson’s case – and of the intricacies of Sweden’s law concerning common-law relationships – in the spring of 2009 when he saw an hour-long Swedish television documentary, “The Millennium Millions,” which detailed her case. “It just got to me,” he said. “I wanted to do something to help.”

Within weeks, he had launched a website asking for donations to help with her legal bills, and over the next 18 months he raised more than $25,000.

“This gave her a lot of support through difficult times,” Moberg said, adding that the fundraising campaign has now been halted with the publication of her new book. It has already been published in Sweden, France, and Norway.

Moberg said that, in his view, Sweden’s law regarding unmarried couples will only be changed under pressure from the international community, which is where Gabrielsson and her US book tour could be helpful.

But first, according to Britt-Marie Svensson, head of the legal office at Swedbank, it might be helpful if the Swedes themselves knew the law. She says that a new study published in the June 13 issue of the national daily Dagens Nyheter shows that only 17 percent of unmarried Swedish couples know that a Swedish law – which has been in effect for more than 20 years – does not provide for them to inherit each other’s property.

This lack of awareness about the laws governing inheritance is particularly surprising, as the feud between Gabrielsson and the Larsson family has been making headlines in Sweden for several years now.

Gary Yerkey is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

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