The Guardian – Henning Mankell obituary
“Henning Mankell, who has died aged 67, after being diagnosed with cancer last year, established almost single-handedly the global picture of Sweden as a crime writer’s ideal dystopia. He took the existing Swedish tradition of crime writing as a form of leftwing social criticism and gave it international recognition, capturing in his melancholy, drunken, bullish detective Kurt Wallander a sense of struggle in bewildered defeat that echoed round the world…He campaigned against Aids and landmines; where drugs against Aids could not be afforded, he encouraged an oral history project, so that the lives and struggles of those who died might be remembered – he dreamed this would be read in a new library of Alexandria in centuries to come. “Africa has taught me that there is so much needless suffering in the world. We could stop it tomorrow: to teach every child in the world to read and write would cost no more than we in the west spend on dog food,” he said. Most of his working life was split between novel writing and theatre work. He was extraordinarily prolific, publishing as many as three novels a year, and his sales figures eventually topped 40m. The quality might have been uneven but there was no mistaking the passion and generosity behind them. He wrote, always, about subjects he thought really mattered…”
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