Stieg Larsson and the exquisite upside of rejection

A letter of rejection once sent to the journalist and author Stieg Larsson is set to go under the hammer at a London auction.

Sometimes rejection is not necessarily a bad thing.

In the case of the late Swedish author Steig Larsson, a 1972 letter of rejection from the Joint Committee of Colleges of Journalism only gave him extra drive towards becoming one of the country's top investigative journalists and writing his blockbuster Millennium crime trilogy.

Now the letter is due to go under the hammer at a London auction in a bid to aid the left-leaning current affairs magazine Expo, which Larsson edited and co-founded.

The letter, also containing a pencil doodle from Larsson, will be sold at Sotheby's in December alongside a special box-set of the trilogy bound in black Moroccan leather and silver studs.

Christopher MacLehose, who first published the English translations after Larsson's death, said the letter, valued between £8,000 (Dh45,700) and £12,000, would shed light on Larsson's stellar journalistic career, which has been all but eclipsed by the success of his novels.

"This is a letter saying 'you are not good enough to be a journalist' to a man who went on to create a supremely creative, crusading magazine which fought against the worsening tide of extreme right thinking and activity in Sweden," he told The Guardian.

However, the real cash cow will surely be the Hollywood version of Larsson's debut, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig as the muck-raking journalist Mikael Blomkvist, the film will hit US cinemas on December 21.

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