“Stieg Larsson could not write”
More evidence that the Swedish author Stieg Larsson is not really the one who wrote the Millennium trilogy – or is it just more nonsense? And if true, then who did write the international best-sellers? Writes Dagens Nyheter journalist Anders Hellberg, who worked with Larsson at the Swedish news agency TT some thirty years ago: “Stieg Larsson was an impressive researcher with a huge knowledge and imagination, but the actual writing was not his forte. I worked with Stieg at news agency TT a couple of years during the late seventies and the early eighties. At the time, Stieg was a news graphic designer. I was a night editor and he often asked me to read what he wrote. Writing a thriller largely based on facts like the Millenium trilogy demands a lot from the author. He or she must have a thorough knowledge of the Swedish society as well as subjects as separate as the structure and the working methods of the police and the know-hows of a computer hacker. Stieg certainly did. He was the closest thing to a human Wikipedia I have ever seen, with the most remarkable knowledge on the broadest of subjects. After spending years of nights reading the scripts of Stieg Larsson, I had to conclude that the actual craft was not one of this versatile man’s strengths.” Hellberg goes on saying he doesn’t intend to put down the talent of Larsson, he is simply saying Larsson could not write. His language was weak, the word order often incorrect, sentence constructions were simple and the syntax was sometimes completely mad – hardly a recipe for a bestseller in other words. Hellberg is not the first person to voice his thoughts. As Nordstjernan reported earlier, another colleague of Larsson’s, Kurdo Baksi, has also declared disbelief, saying “It’s still a mystery to me how he (Stieg Larsson) could write these books.” Both Hellberg and Baksi hint at the possibility that Larsson’s long-time partner and common-law spouse Eva Gabrielsson is the one who actually wrote the books, while Larsson himself provided the research and facts. Hellberg asked to talk about Gabrielsson about this, but writes “she has politely declined to be interviewed.”

Wedding frenzy.
Five months to go and so much to cover! Swedes everywhere seem to have been hit by royal wedding frenzy. And why not? Crown Princess Victoria waited patiently for many years until her father (and mother) finally agreed and let her have her way and marry Daniel Westling, the man she loved. Can it be any more romantic? Here’s a bit of what’s happening in Sweden right now, as the couple (and everyone else) prepares for the big wedding that will take place on June 19 in Stockholm’s Storkyrkan. Take a closer look at “Den officiella bröllopsserien” (the official wedding series) to which 16 selected companies have contributed their best products.

Wrong hat caused man to lose his job.
A hat with the text “Porn Star” caused a man working as a nursery school assistant to lose his job in Täby, north of Stockholm. The man, who worked as a part-time substitute teacher and was paid hourly, had just been offered a month’s extension at the nursery school, when the director suddenly told him she wanted to terminate their collaboration. Some parents had seen a picture of the teacher on Facebook, wearing the Porn Star hat, and they had contacted the nursery school. The owner of the school says there have been no complaints about the work the man has done at the school, it’s rather his photo with the hat that has caused him to lose his job. “We decided that wearing a hat like that is not suitable when one works in the child care system,” said the owner.

Waffles in new ways.
So it’s not “våffeldagen” (or Vårfrudagen, as it is really called) until March 25, but we think waffles is something you can eat all year around. Especially since they don’t have to be sweet and served with jam and whipped cream. Arla (the Swedish-Danish cooperative that is the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia) posted some delicious waffle recipes on their website. Here is one favorite. Spinach waffles with salmon (serves 8-10) Ingredients: 150 g frozen, chopped spinach 100 g butter 1.6 cups unbleached flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 0.5 teaspoon salt 1.6 cups milk 2 eggs 8-10 thin slices smoked salmon 8 oz crème fraîche (it is available in some stores in the US and also online, but if you cannot find it, substitute with sour cream) dill Directions: Thaw the spinach and wring out the liquid. Melt the butter and let cool. Mix flour, baking powder and salt, add milk and egg and beat until you have an even batter. Mix in the spinach and the butter. Heat your griddle and brush it with butter. Bake the waffles until golden. Serve immediately with salmon, crème fraîche and dill.