Kerstin Bergman
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Transforming tattoos of the girl with the dragon tattoo
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Stieg Larsson’s Millennium novels are among the world’s bestselling books of the early twenty-first century. As well as being adapted for the screen (three Scandinavian films, one American), there have been two different graphic novel adaptations made of the trilogy and, perhaps more surprising, a new (Swedish) author, David Lagercrantz, assigned to continue Larsson’s work by writing fourth, fifth and sixth novels in the series (with two published by 2018). With particular attention to the original Swedish novels, this chapter considers the development and transformation of Lisbeth Salander’s tattoos in the series through a close focus on character description and development, gender and identity. Despite Larsson’s exploration of the crime genre, the role of Salander’s tattoos is relevant almost only in relation to how other people perceive Salander, not to who she really is. This chapter questions whether affect of the criminological associates of the tattoo is waning in contemporary fiction

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