Henning Mankell (born in 1948) is mainly known for his crime novels, starring his creation Inspector Kurt Wallander. Mankell made his fictional debut in 1977 and has since then published close to 80 plays, crime novels, essays, children’s books and fiction for young adults. “The Eye of the Leopard”, “The Man from Beijing”, “I die, but the memory lives on”, “Chronicler of the wind” and “Before the frost” are among his most famous publications. He has won a lot of prestigious prizes, such as The Glass Key Award For Best Nordic Crime Novel, the Swedish Astrid Lindgren Prize and the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year.
The novels about Kurt Wallander, at the moment comprising 10 books, mainly take place in the Swedish town of Ystad. The novels not only focus on the violent murders which the inspector solves, but also on the problems in Swedish society which directly or indirectly creates the crime. Several of the books have an international connection, such as “The Dogs of Riga” (Latvia) and “The White Lioness” (South Africa).
Mankell is also well-known for his sincere commitment to politics and has been engaged in a number of different projects throughout the years, through debate articles, financial support or participation. In 2011 he participated in Ship to Gaza, a convoy of ships that tried to break the Israeli embargo of the Gaza strip, and was arrested and deported to Sweden.
Henning Mankell also has a strong connection to Africa, with several of his books taking place on the continent, and since 1986 he is the artistic leader at Teatro Avenida in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, where he lives for up to six months every year.
On a small, isolated island in the Stockholm archipelago, Fredrik Welin is living a quiet life together with his pets and has almost no connections to other human beings.
Henning Mankell travels to Uganda and finds villages which are only inhabited by elders and children, the ones left behind when AIDS swept away an entire generation.