Think back to the fiction you wrote when you were 17. All those awkwardly phrased sentences, those seemingly heavy themes of teenage rebellion and high-school conformity and, um, eating lunch, the thinly veiled jabs at your ex-girlfriend who left you for that jerk Todd from the lacrosse team. Would you ever like that stuff read by a large audience? Since it’s hard to give a definitive answer that question if you’re no longer alive, Stieg Larsson doesn’t really have that much of a choice. Previously unpublished manuscripts written by the author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo when he was only a wee Swede have been acquired by his country’s national library. What’s more, Magdalena Gram, Sweden’s deputy national librarian (which means when she says shhh, you listen), told Agence France-Presse that the works are “in the science-fiction genre” and were originally submitted by Larsson to a magazine called Jules Verne.
Combined with the news that David Foster Wallace’s undergraduate thesis will be published, this seems a good reminder to all of us to burn or lock away in a safe buried beneath the sea any potentially incriminating prose. You never know if or when your literary estate might find that re-telling of Of Mice and Men from the POV of the mouse that you wrote in 9th grade. What do you think, Shelf Lifers? Interested in reading these manuscripts? Any horribly embarrassing things you wrote as a kid that you want to tell us about?