Karin Smirnoff lives on a farm in northern Sweden, just a short car journey away from Stieg Larsson’s birth place. She is a bestselling author whose novels have sold over 700,000 copies in her home country, has a black belt in karate, and enjoys spending time with her mother and kids. But now, her life is due to change completely as she is about to become one of the world’s most famous novelists after taking on the Stieg Larsson mantel to write about one of Sweden’s most iconic women, Lisbeth Salander. With approval of the Stieg Larsson estate, Karin Smirnoff has taken on the monumental task of writing the next three books in the ‘Dragon Tattoo’ series. The first novel (number 7 in the series) is due to be published in the UK on 31 August 2023.
Karin was born in Umeå in the north of Sweden, grew up in Stockholm, and left school at 17 to travel. Now, she has returned to her birthplace and lives on a farm which has been in her family for many decades. Karin has hinted in interviews that the main storyline for Millennium 7 (as the as-yet-untitled novel is called) will move from Stockholm and the south to the wild expanses of northern Sweden that are so familiar to her. She read the Millennium novels when the first three books came out and is familiar with the universe created by Larsson and continued by fellow Swede David Lagercrantz.
With Karin Smirnoff as the new writer of the series, and its acquisition by Katharina Bielenberg of the MacLehose Press, an imprint of Quercus Books, the series – which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide – will have a female author and publisher, with a female translator also being lined up.
Karin Smirnoff says, “It feels almost solemn to write the sequel to Millennium. I said yes to the project without hesitation, even though it postpones my own ideas for new novels. It’s an exciting opportunity to independently create and make something new based on a unique fictional universe that is known worldwide. The Millennium books are classics in their genre, where the combination of unforgettable characters and the strong political and societal engagement still fascinates readers. I will continue to build on Stieg Larsson’s core themes, such as violence, abuse of power, and contemporary political currents.”
Katharina Bielenberg says, “The Millennium series has been a constant at MacLehose Press and Quercus since Christopher MacLehose acquired Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back in 2008. Everything we know about Karin Smirnoff and her work tells us she has the perfect sensibility not only to continue on from David Lagercrantz’s trilogy with great drive and imagination, but also to make the series her own. And it feels just right that Lisbeth Salander’s universe should now be brought to life by a woman. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Karin on these next instalments.”
Jon Butler, MD at Quercus Books, says, “The Millennium series – ‘the Dragon Tattoo books’ to most people in the English-speaking world – of course constitute one of the biggest publishing stories of the last twenty years, selling over 100 million copies worldwide. Stieg Larsson’s iconic creation, and the brilliant sequels written by David Lagercrantz, reached people who rarely buy books, which is the holy grail for any publisher. So, we couldn’t be more excited to announce a new trilogy; except that I probably am more excited. Karin Smirnoff is a literary talent of the highest order, and a huge bestseller in her native Sweden. We can’t wait to launch her creation to the widest possible English-language readership next year.”