Henning Mankell

Submitted by on Oct 3, 2015

Henning Mankell

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Born: 18 February 1948 Sweden

Henning Mankell was born in 1948 in Stockholm. He enrolled in drama school and at the age of 17 years, began his career as an assistant director at the Stockholm theater «Riks». The fact that he became a writer Mankell thanks to her grandmother, who sent him on a creative way, when he was six years old. His first work was the story about the adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

From the childhood was interested in travel, especially attracted him the African continent, which in the future he will link his life. In 16 years, Henning dropped out of college and moved to France where he worked as a salesman. Returning a year later in Stockholm, he found work in the theater RIK, where mastered theatrical skills.

C 1968 worked as a theater director and writer, placing himself to expose modern society.

In 1972, he made which determined his whole life journey to Zambia, where he spent two years. Africa forever become his second home. “I stand with one foot in the snow, and another – in the sand” – he said about himself in an interview.

When he returned to Sweden, he became interested in the labor movement, social and political systems of Sweden. His literary career began in 1973. Novels and plays the writer had a social orientation (which is generally typical for Swedish masters of detective).

He was involved in protests against the Vietnam War, the Portuguese colonial war in Africa and the apartheid regime in South Africa. In the 70s Mankell moved to Norway, where, in particular, took part in the working of the Communist Party of Norway. Also in the early ’70s were his first novel.

In the late 70’s trip to Africa to become permanent. Zimbabwe, Mozambique later. Mankell spends half the year in Sweden, then returned to Africa. For 15 years he headed in Mozambique only theater company of the country Matumbela Godo, then the Teatro Avenida, which is financed by fees from their writers. He recently set up his own publishing house (Leopard Förlag) to support young talents from Africa and Sweden.

The next ten years, Mankell worked as director and artistic director of «Theater von Västerbotten» Skelleftea, and since 1984 – the theater «Kronoborg» Vaxjo. Because of the work in the theater from 1984 to 1990, he did not publish.

In 1991, the writer began to work in the genre of detective. His first novel “Killer Without a Face”(Mördare utan ansikte) was the beginning of a small series about the Swedish police Kurt Wallander. The book was a great success in Sweden and has received several awards. However, only a third book about Wallander called”White lion” detective series has received international recognition. These are written in the tradition of detective novels by Swedish writers Sjöwall and Wahlöö of the Commissioner of Police Martin Beck. Many of the stories in this series have been filmed, some of them several times.

Detective work is not meant to move away from social issues. All series of novels and works Vneseriynye filled with thoughts about the development of Sweden, the problems of immigrants and the need to combat all forms of extremism in general and Nazism in particular. Creativity Mankell is widely accepted around the world.

Political and social themes are still given plenty of space in the works of the writer. So his personal experiences described in the pop-up in 2008, the novel “Chinaman».

Mankell – the author of numerous books for children and youth, such as “The mystery of Fire”(1996) und «boy sleeping on a snow-covered bed” (1998). In 2003, Mankell in collaboration with the actors of the theater in Graz and the”Avenida” wrote and directed the play «Butterfly Blues».

Recently, he created his own publishing house «Leopard Förlag» to support young talents from Africa and Sweden. He also donated 15 million Swedish kronor for the “Children’s Village SOS» in Mozambique. In 2010, he was among the activists of the flotilla «Free Gaza Movement», which called for sanctions against Israel.

C 1998 is married to Eva Bergman (daughter of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman).

Currently, Mankell lives mostly in Mozambique, returning to Sweden for the summer.


Kurt Wallander – Kurt Wallander

Henning MankellHenning Mankell
Henning MankellHenning Mankell
Henning MankellHenning Mankell

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