Henning Mankell is best known as a mystery and crime writer. His famous character, Inspector Kurt Wallander became an international sensation after also being adapted to both films and television serials. Henning too has become popular worldwide with his gripping and full of atmosphere stories set in Africa. Henning’s global fan following has enforced the translation of his books into forty-five languages.
Mankell is a Scandinavian author born in Stockholm, Sweden on February 3, 1948. He grew up in Sveg, northern Sweden reading books about African explorers and their expeditions. Henning’s grandmother taught him to read and write at the age of 6. He went to Paris at the age of 16 where he worked as a merchant seaman. After leaving work in 1966, Henning settled in Paris and went back to Stockholm one and a half year later. He worked as a stagehand and wrote his first play, The Amusement Park.
At the age of 20, Mankell was a writer and assistant director at the Riksteater in Stockholm. Also during his younger years, Henning was a politically involved youngster and worked as an activist against the Vietnam War, South African apartheid and Portugal’s colonial war in Mozambique. He also worked with the Maoist Communist Labor Party in Norway.
Shortly after the publication of his first book, The Stone Blaster in 1973, Henning accomplished his lifelong dream of visiting Africa. Since then Henning has lived in Zambia and other African countries. In 1986 he became the artistic director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo. Till now Henning spends at least 6 months a year in Maputo writing and working at the theater.
The year 1990 saw the comeback of Henning Mankell and he released two books in the same year after a silent period of 6 years. The Eye of the Leapord was a hunting novel based in Sweden and Zambia while A Bridge to the Stars was the first book of the series about Joel. This book won the Rabén & Sjögren award for best children book in the same year. Faceless Killers was published a year after the first Kurt Wallender book. Faceless Killers received immense national recognition and also a number of awards. The White Lioness, third book in the detective series became an international bestseller giving a global recognition and fan base to Kurt Wallander. Menkell continued writing other novels along with the Wallander series and in 1991, a second book of the Joel series, Shadows in Twilight was published. Having written 9 Kurt Wallander books, The Troubled Man, to be published in 2011 is said to be Henning’s last novel of the Wallander series.
Although the brilliant detective series is his claim to fame, Henning Mankell has authored many other publications. His various other fictions and books for children including Books about Sofia and the Joel Gustafsson series are popular among young readers. Mankell also has to his credit writing various screenplays for television.
Henning’s services to literature have been praised by a number of prestigious awards including Best Swedish Crime Novel Award (1991),The Nils Holgersson Prize (1991), The Glass Key Award (1992), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (1993), Best Swedish Crime Novel Award (1995), Swedish Astrid Lindgren Prize (1996), Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger (2001),Corine Literature Prize (2001), Gumshoe Award (2005), Corine Literature Prize (2008).
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Henning Mankell, https://www.famousauthors.org/henning-mankell (last visited March 11, 2018).
This article is about the author. For his grandfather, the composer (1868–1930), see Henning Mankell (composer).
Henning Georg Mankell (Swedish pronunciation: [²hɛnːɪŋ ˈmaŋkɛl]; 3 February 1948 – 5 October 2015) was a Swedish crime writer, children's author, and dramatist, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most noted creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander. He also wrote a number of plays and screenplays for television.
He was a left-wing social critic and activist. In his books and plays he constantly highlighted social inequality issues and injustices in Sweden and abroad. In 2010, Mankell was on board one of the ships in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was boarded by Israeli military forces. He was below deck when eight or nine people were shot.
Mankell shared his time between Sweden and countries in Africa, mostly Mozambique where he started a theatre. He made considerable donations to charity organizations, mostly connected to Africa.
Life and career
Mankell's grandfather, also named Henning Mankell, lived from 1868 to 1930 and was a composer. Mankell was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1948. His father Ivar was a lawyer who divorced his mother when Mankell was one year old. He and an older sister lived with his father for most of their childhood. The family first lived in Sveg, Härjedalen in northern Sweden, where Mankell's father was a district judge. In the biography on Mankell's website, he describes this time when they lived in a flat above the court as one of the happiest in his life. In Sveg, a museum was built in his honour during his lifetime.
Later, when Mankell was thirteen, the family moved to Borås, Västergötland on the Swedish west coast near Gothenburg. After three years he dropped out of school and went to Paris when he was 16. Shortly afterwards he joined the merchant marine, working on a cargo ship and he "loved the ship's decent hard-working community". In 1966, he returned to Paris to become a writer. He took part in the student uprising of 1968. He later returned to work as a stagehand in Stockholm. At the age of 20, he had already started as author at Riksteatern in Stockholm. In the following years he collaborated with several theatres in Sweden. His first play, The Amusement Park dealt with Swedish colonialism in South America. In 1973, he published The Stone Blaster, a novel about the Swedish labour movement. He used the proceeds from the novel to travel to Guinea-Bissau. Africa would later become a second home to him, and he spent a big part of his life there. When his success as a writer made it possible, he founded and ran a theatre in Mozambique.
After living in Zambia and other African countries, Mankell was invited from 1986 onward to become the artistic director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo, Mozambique. He subsequently spent extended periods in Maputo working with the theatre and as a writer. He built his own publishing house, Leopard Förlag, in order to support young talented writers from Africa and Sweden. His novel Chronicler of the Winds, published in Sweden as Comédie infantil in 1995, reflects African problems and is based on African storytelling. On 12 June 2008, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of St Andrews in Scotland "in recognition of his major contribution to literature and to the practical exercise of conscience".
Around 2008, Mankell developed two original stories for the German police series Tatort. Actor Axel Milberg, who portrays Inspector Klaus Borowski, had asked Mankell to contribute to the show when they were promoting The Man from Beijing audiobook, a project that Milberg had worked on. The episodes were scheduled to broadcast in Germany in 2010. In 2010, Mankell was set to work on a screenplay for Sveriges Television about his father-in-law, movie and theatre director Ingmar Bergman, on a series produced in four one-hour episodes. Mankell pitched the project to Sveriges Television and production was planned for 2011. At the time of his death, Mankell had written over 40 novels that had sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
Mankell was married four times and had four sons, Thomas, Marius, Morten and Jon, by different relationships. In 1998 he married Eva Bergman, daughter of film director Ingmar Bergman.
In January 2014, Mankell announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and throat cancer. In May 2014, he reported that treatments had worked well and he was getting better.
He wrote a series of articles inspired by his wife Eva, describing his situation, how it felt to be diagnosed, how it felt to be supported, how it felt to wait, and after his first chemotherapy at Sahlgrenska University Hospital about the importance of cancer research. Three weeks before his death he wrote about what happens to people’s identity when they are stricken by a serious illness His last post was published posthumously 6 October.
On 5 October 2015, Mankell died at the age of 67, almost two years after having been diagnosed.
We refuse to understand the significance of Islamic culture in Europe's history. We are characterized by intense ignorance. What would Europe have been without Islamic culture? Nothing.
In his youth Mankell was a left-wing political activist and participated in the Protests of 1968 in Sweden, protesting against, among other things, the Vietnam War, the Portuguese Colonial War, and the apartheid regime in South Africa. Furthermore, he got involved with Folket i Bild/Kulturfront which focused on cultural policy studies. In the 1970s, Mankell moved from Sweden to Norway and lived with a Norwegian woman who was a member of the MaoistWorkers' Communist Party. He took an active part in their activities but did not join the party.
In 2002, Mankell gave financial support by buying stocks for 50,000 NOK in the Norwegian left-wing newspaper Klassekampen. In 2009, Mankell was a guest at the Palestine Festival of Literature. He said he had seen "repetition of the despicable apartheid system that once treated Africans and coloured as second-class citizens in their own country". He found a resemblance between the Israeli West Bank barrier and the Berlin Wall: "The wall that is currently dividing the country will prevent future attacks, in short term. In the end, it will face the same destiny as the wall that once divided Berlin did." Considering the environment the Palestinian people live in, he continued: "Is it strange that some of them in pure desperation, when they cannot see any other way out, decide to become suicide bombers? Not really? Maybe it is strange that there are not more of them."
Mankell stated in an interview with Haaretz that he did not support Hezbollah. In Mankell's opinion the state of Israel should not have a future as a two-state solution and this "will not be the end of the historical occupation". He said he did not encounter antisemitism during his journey, just "hatred against the occupants that is completely normal and understandable", and said that "to keep these two things separate is crucial".
In 2010, Henning Mankell was on board the MS Sofia, one of the boats which took part in the flotilla which tried to break the Israeli embargo of the Gaza strip. Following the Israel Defense Forces' boarding of the flotilla on the morning of 31 May 2010, Mankell was deported to Sweden. He subsequently called for global sanctions against Israel. In 2010 it was reported that he was considering halting Hebrew translations of his books. In June 2011, Mankell stated in an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he had never considered preventing his books from being translated into Hebrew, and that unidentified persons had stolen his identity to make this false claim.
Mankell was supposed to be one of twenty Swedish participants in "Freedom Flotilla II" which never took place. It was originally scheduled to sail to Gaza in June 2011.
Charity and legacy
There are too many people in the world who just sit and watch their money pile up, that is very hard for me to understand.
In 2007, Henning Mankell donated 15 million Swedish crowns (about 1.5 million euros) to SOS Children's Villages for a children's village in Chimoio in western Mozambique. Mankell donated vast amounts of money to charitable organizations such as SOS Children's Villages and Hand in Hand, a collection of independent organizations.
In the 1980s, Mankell visited United Nations refugee camps in Mozambique and later accompanied UN High Commissioner Sadako Ogata to refugee camps in South Africa. In 2013, he visited Congolese refugees in Uganda. He wrote on the plight of refugees and after his death his website asked for donations in his name to the UN Commission on Refugees.
The theme for short stories submitted to the inaugural Festival Fim do Caminho Literary Prize, "Crime in Mozambique", was chosen in homage to Mankell.
Kurt Wallander is a fictional police inspector living and working in Ystad,Sweden. In the novels, he solves shocking murders with his colleagues. The novels have an underlying question: "What went wrong with Swedish society?"
The series has won many awards, including the German Crime Prize and the British 2001 CWAGold Dagger for Sidetracked (1995).
The ninth book, The Pyramid (1999), is a prequel about Wallander's past, covering the time until just before the start of Faceless Killers (1991). It includes a collection of five novellas:
- Wallander's First Case
- The Man with the Mask
- The Man on the Beach
- The Death of the Photographer
- The Pyramid
Ten years after The Pyramid, Mankell published another Wallander novel, The Troubled Man (2009), which he said would definitely be the last in the series.
Linda is the daughter of Kurt Wallander, who follows in his footsteps as a police officer. Mankell began an intended trilogy of novels with her as the protagonist. However, following the suicide of Johanna Sällström, the actress playing the character at the time in the Swedish TV series, Mankell was so distraught that he decided to abandon the series after only the first novel.
- Mördare utan ansikte (1991; English translation by Steven T. Murray: Faceless Killers, 1997)
- Hundarna i Riga (1992; English translation by Laurie Thompson: The Dogs of Riga, 2001)
- Den vita lejoninnan (1993; English translation by Laurie Thompson: The White Lioness, 1998)
- Mannen som log (1994; English translation by Laurie Thompson: The Man Who Smiled, 2005)
- Villospår (1995; English translation by Steven T. Murray: Sidetracked, 1999) Gold Dagger 2001
- Fotografens död (1996; English translation included in The Pyramid as The Death of the Photographer)
- Den femte kvinnan (1996; English translation by Steven T. Murray: The Fifth Woman, 2000)
- Steget efter (1997; English translation by Ebba Segerberg: One Step Behind, 2002)
- Brandvägg (1998; English translation by Ebba Segerberg: Firewall, 2002)
- Pyramiden (1999; short stories; English translation by Ebba Segerberg with Laurie Thompson: The Pyramid, 2008)
- Mannen på stranden (2000)
- Handen (2004; novella; originally published in Dutch (2004) as Het Graf (The Grave). Published in Swedish, 2013. English translation by Laurie Thompson: An Event in Autumn, 2014)
- Den orolige mannen (2009; English translation by Laurie Thompson: The Troubled Man, 2011)
Other crime novels
- Kvicksand (2014) part memoir, part collection of essays, English translation by Laurie Thompson: Quicksand: What It Means to Be a Human Being
Joel Gustafsson series
- A Bridge to the Stars – 2005 (Hunden som sprang mot en stjärna (sv) – 1990)
- Shadows in the Twilight – 2007 (Skuggorna växer i skymningen – 1991)
- When the Snow Fell – 2007 (Pojken som sov med snö i sin säng – 1996)
- The Journey to the End of the World – 2008 (Resan till världens ände (sv) – 1998)
Young children's books
- The Cat Who Liked Rain – 2007
Film and television
Original screenplays for television and TV
- Etterfølgeren (The Successor) (1997 film)
- Labyrinten (2000), TV mini-series
- Talismanen (sv) (2003), TV mini-series (co-written with Jan Guillou)
- Unnamed Ingmar Bergman docudrama (2012), TV mini-series
Film and television adaptations of novels
Awards and honours
- ^"Sveg". henningmankell.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- ^ abcdeHenning Mankell. "Henning Mankell: Biography". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- ^ abcRichard Orange (4 October 2015). "Henning Mankell obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^Schottenius, Maria (27 September 2014). "Henning Mankell: Det var en livskatastrof". www.dn.se. Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- ^Damen, Jos (16 April 2006). "Henning Mankell (1948–2015) & Africa". African Studies Centre Leiden. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^Cowell, Alan (21 April 2006). "In a Break From Mystery Writing, Henning Mankell Turns to Africa". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- ^Alison Flood; David Crouch (5 October 2015). "Henning Mankell, Swedish author of Wallander, dies at 67". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- ^"Berühmte Autoren: Henning Mankell schreibt zwei "Tatort"-Krimis – Die Welt". Die Welt (in German). 6 November 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^Günter Fink (13 December 2009). "Ironie macht die Dinge oft einfacher". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^"Bergmans liv blir tv-drama". SvD.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^"Henning Mankell website" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- ^Richard Orange (29 January 2014). "Henning Mankell, Wallander author, reveals cancer". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^HENNING MANKELL (29 January 2014). "Del 1: "En strid ur livets perspektiv"". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^Henning Mankell (12 February 2014). "Henning Mankell: how it feels to be diagnosed with cancer". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^Henning Mankell (22 March 2015). "Henning Mankell: No one should have to face cancer alone'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^Henning Mankell (27 April 2014). "Henning Mankell: A bad night before my cancer test results". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^Henning Mankell (22 May 2015). "Henning Mankell: the importance of cancer research". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^Henning Mankell (16 September 2015). "Henning Mankell on living with cancer: there are days full of darkness". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^Henning Mankell (6 October 2015). "Henning Mankell: 'Eventually the day comes when we all have to go'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- ^"Henning Mankell är död". svt.se. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^"- Teatret er i krise – Litteratur – Dagbladet.no". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^"Tekstarkiv". Dagbladet. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^Augustsson, Lars Åke; Hansén, Stig (2001). De svenska maoisterna (in Swedish). Gothenburg: Lindelöw. ISBN 91-88144-48-8.
- ^"NRK.no – Her & Nå". NRK. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^ abc"Ending Apartheid". P U L S E. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^ ab"Will the Real Henning Mankell Speak Up?". Haaretz.com. June 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^Flood, Alison (31 May 2010). "Author Henning Mankell aboard Gaza flotilla stormed by Israeli troops". The Guardian.
- ^Robert Booth; Kate Connolly; Tom Phillips; Helena Smith (2 June 2010). "Gaza flotilla raid: 'We heard gunfire – then our ship turned into lake of blood'". The Guardian.
- ^Johan Nylander. "Henning Mankell may halt Hebrew book version". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^"Crime writer Mankell will be on next Gaza aid flotilla". Yahoo! News. Stockholm. Agence France-Presse. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- ^"Freedom Flotilla 2 to sail for Gaza by end of June". Almasry Alyoum. MENA. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- ^"Chimoio". henningmankell.com. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- ^"Africa. Chimoio". Henningmankell.com.
- ^"2,151,238 jobs so far". www.handinhandinternational.org. Hand in Hand International. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- ^"Henning Mankell". Dagens Industri.
- ^Jos Damen (6 October 2015). "Henning Mankell (1948–2015) & Africa". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- ^Competition and Forum 2016, Fim do Caminho.
- ^"Homage to Henning Mankell", Press Release: Fim do Caminho Literary Prize, Mozambique. Miles Morland Foundation.
- ^pronounced Ue-stad ("ue" as in "muesli" and "a" as in "father" – not pronounced as in the recent 2008 UK television adaptation)
- ^Van der Paal, Jill. "Mördarna i Henning Mankells Kurt Wallanderserie"(PDF). www.lib.urgent.be. Universiteit Gent. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- ^ abcWroe, Nicholas (20 February 2010), "A Life in writing: Henning Mankell", The Guardian.