Monday, August 31, 2015

David Lagercrantz: ‘I read that Stieg Larsson used to work through the night, so I sat up late too

david lagercrantz
‘If I’d had any moral problems with this, I wouldn’t have done it’: David Lagercrantz in his flat in Sodermälm, the area of Stockholm in which Stieg Larsson and his characters also lived. Photograph: Olle Nordell for the Observer
David Lagercrantz, wild of eye and slightly jerky of limb, darts to his desk, which is tucked behind a curved wall right in the middle of his Stockholm flat, and returns waving a couple of copies of Dagens Nyheter, the Swedish newspaper whose nearest British equivalent is probably the Times. “I wrote my diaries for it,” he says, rather breathlessly, plonking himself back down beside me on a sofa. “Look, here they are, trailed on the front of the daily.” He shows me a cover, the banner including his name taking up most of its top half. After this, he opens the Sunday edition’s culture section, in which the journals finally appeared, and briskly turns its pages. One, two, three… A photograph of his face flashes by. Four, five, six… So, too, does an image of the aforementioned desk. Seven, eight…

“It runs over nine pages. Honestly, there’s never been anything like this in Sweden for a book before. I mean ever. It’s nuts. Actually, I’m a bit embarrassed. What about Isis ? What about Palestine? People are going to get angry because there are a lot of brilliant authors writing novels, and they’ll get a review [more frantic page turning]… this big.” He points to a tiny, unillustrated piece. There it floats, lonely and rather pathetic, in a vast sea of Lagercrantz.


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