Karl Stig-Erland Larsson is born in the town of Skelleftehamn in the Västerbotten region of northeast Sweden, about 400 miles north of Stockholm. He is the first child of Erland and Vivianne. He is raised by his maternal grandparents in Västerbotten after his father contracts arsenic poisoning from his job at a smelting plant. When he is nine, his grandfather, Severin Boström, dies of a heart attack and he moves to the city of Umeå to live with his parents and his younger brother, Joakim. His grandfather is a survivor of imprisonment by the Nazis and is an outspoken political activist. Stieg’s favorite pastime during childhood is reading Enid Blyton and Astrid Lindgren, the author of The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. He later begins writing novels of his own. His father:
When Stieg was 12 I read a novel he had written in a notebook. It was then that we gave him a typewriter — it was his thirteenth birthday and I remember it was very expensive at that time. It was also very noisy, so we had to make space for him in the cellar. He would write in the cellar and come up for meals, but at least we could sleep at night.