Read more about Lisbeth Salander at: Wikipedia
Official Site: Stieg Larsson
Lisbeth Salander is a fictional character created by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. She is the heroine of Larsson's award-winning "Millennium series", first appearing in the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (original title in Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor, or "Men Who Hate Women"). She is also featured in The Girl Who Played with Fire (Swedish: Flickan som lekte med elden) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Swedish: Luftslottet som sprängdes, or "The Air Castle That Exploded"), the second and third installments of the author's bestselling series.
Larsson stated in interviews that he based the character of Lisbeth Salander on what he imagined Pippi Longstocking would have been like as an adult. In the trilogy, Salander has the name "V.Kulla" displayed on the door of her apartment on the Svartensgatan in Stockholm, Sweden. "V. Kulla" is an abbreviation of "Villa Villekulla", the name of Pippi Longstocking's house. Like Longstocking, Salander has red hair, which she dyes black. Upon her first appearance in the series, she is described as "a pale, anorexic young woman who had hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows. She had a wasp tattoo about an inch long on her neck, a tattooed loop around the biceps of her left arm and another around her left ankle. On those occasions when she had been wearing a tank top, a dragon tattoo can be seen on her left shoulder blade."
Salander and her twin sister, Camilla, were born April 30, 1978, to Agneta Sofia Salander (née Sjölander). Their father, Alexander Zalachenko, was a Soviet GRU agent who defected to Sweden in 1976 and was granted asylum and protection by a faction within SÄPO, the Swedish Security Service. Zalachenko later reveals to Lisbeth that she has seven half-brothers and sisters across Europe. Zalachenko subjected Lisbeth's mother to frequent physical and psychological abuse, but because of his SÄPO connections, this abuse was ignored by the authorities. Lisbeth would do what little she could to defend her mother, unlike her sister Camilla, who would suppress the memory and treat her father as if he were loving and gentle; this would lead to an estrangement between the sisters that would never truly heal. Following a particularly savage beating that was to leave her mother with permanent brain damage, the 12-year-old Lisbeth retaliated against her father by setting him on fire, leaving him disfigured and in chronic pain. Zalachenko's handlers in SÄPO, fearing this would lead to their exposure and recriminations for harboring a violent, psychopath Soviet spy, decided it best to silence Lisbeth by having her declared legally insane and sent to a Children's Psychiatric Hospital in Uppsala. While there, she was placed under the direct surveillance of psychologist Dr. Peter Teleborian, who had earlier conspired with Zalachenko's handlers in SÄPO to have her declared insane. During her stay at the hospital, Teleborian put her in restraints for the most trivial of infractions — mostly to vent his repressed sexual desire for her.
After spending her formative years at St. Stefan's, she was released under the condition that she be considered legally incompetent and therefore have a legal guardian to supervise her affairs. By the time of her introduction in the first novel, Nils Bjurman has become her new legal guardian, after her previous one, Holger Palmgren, has been incapacitated by a stroke. Bjurman — who, later novels reveal, has ties to SÄPO — takes control of her finances as a function of his guardianship, allowing her a minuscule personal allowance from her own earnings as a freelance private investigator for Milton Security. He reveals himself to be a sadist who forces her to perform oral sex on him in exchange for money from her own accounts. He ultimately rape and sodomize her, unaware that she is taping his actions with a hidden camera. She exacts her revenge on him for the rape a few days later by incapacitating him with a taser, torturing him, and forcing him to watch the recording of her rape. She then threatens to make the recording public unless he arranges for her to have permanent control over her money. Finally, she tattoos "I am a sadistic pig, a pervert and a rapist" in large letters on his torso. Bjurman complies with her demands, but seeks revenge in the second novel, setting in motion a chain of events that ends with Zalachenko's son (Lisbeth's half-brother) murdering Bjurman and framing Lisbeth for it.
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