David Lagercrantz is the son of Olof Lagercrantz, a Swedish author and literary
critic, and Martina Lagercrantz. Growing up in Solna and Drottningholm near
Stockholm, he was hugely keen on sport: his proudest achievement was beating
the future world champion Jan-Olof Waldner at table tennis. (Waldner was three
years younger and about two heads shorter, so this is not quite as impressive as it
David studied philosophy and religion and attended the School of Journalism in
Gothenburg. After his studies he applied for hundreds of jobs – without success.
Eventually he made it to Expressen, a national daily paper, where he covered
some major crime stories including an infamous triple murder in the cemetery in
the northern Swedish town of Åmsele in 1988, which he would later write about
in his book Änglarna i Åmsele [‘The Angels of Åmsele’].
David made his debut as an author in 1997 with Ultimate High, the story of
Swedish adventurer Göran Kropp, who climbed Mount Everest without oxygen
tanks or sherpas the week after one of the most tragic disasters ever to occur on
the mountain. The book became a great success, both in Sweden and abroad, and
enabled David to continue as an author.
Three years later Ett svenskt geni [‘A Swedish Genius’], David’s biography of
inventor Håkan Lans, was published. It has since been reprinted several times and
provided inspiration for the critically acclaimed documentary film Patent 986.
In 2005 David returned his attention to the Himalayas with a thriller entitled
Himmel över Everest [‘The Sky over Everest’].
He continued with Fall of Man in Wilmslow, a historical novel about the English
mathematician and computing pioneer Alan Turing. This book is often regarded
as David’s breakthrough in fiction. It received excellent reviews and has been sold
to publishers in fifteen countries, including Knopf in the USA.
David often writes about major talents who refuse to follow convention. He is
interested not only in what it takes to stand out from the crowd, but also in the
resistance that such creativity and iconoclasm inevitably attract.
I am Zlatan Ibrahimović, written by David in collaboration with the Swedish
football star, was published in 2011. This revealing memoir is probably the most
successful book in Sweden in modern times. It sold 500,000 copies in hardback in
less than two months. Reviewers hailed it as both a masterpiece and a future
I am Zlatan has encouraged a new generation to read – one that had previously not
been addressed by the publishing market. David regards that as one of the finest
things ever to have happened to him.
To date, I am Zlatan has been published in over 30 languages around the world.
Millions of copies have been sold in all. Ian Herbert of The Independent in the UK
described it as ‘the most compelling autobiography football has known’.
I am Zlatan was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award,
the most highly esteemed award for sports writing.
In Sweden it was the first book of its kind to be nominated for the prestigious
August Prize, a literary award named after August Strindberg.
In December 2013 David Lagercrantz signed a contract with the Swedish
publishing house Norstedts and Moggliden AB, the company that oversees Stieg
Larsson’s literary estate, to write a new instalment in Larsson’s Millennium crime
fiction series featuring Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.
David’s book, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, is the fourth in the series. It will be
translated into 46 languages and was launched simultaneously in 27 countries in
late August 2015.
It raced to the top of the bestseller lists all over the world, including in the USA,
the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany, and was praised in reviews in
publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, the Guardian, the
Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times (UK), Der Spiegel, Stern
and Le Monde.
David is a board member of Swedish PEN, an organisation that campaigns on
behalf of persecuted writers all over the world.
He is also a supporter of The Reading Movement, a Swedish association that
promotes reading and access to high-quality books for children as ways of
improving their vocabulary and educational success.
David has three children and is married to Anne Lagercrantz, head of news and
sport at Sveriges Television (SVT), Sweden’s public service broadcaster. He lives
in the Södermalm neighbourhood of Stockholm.