Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Henning Mankell: R.I.P.

Such sad news. Henning Mankell has died at the age of 67.

From the New York Times:

Henning Mankell, the Swedish novelist and playwright best known for police procedurals that were translated into a score of languages and sold by the millions throughout the world, died on Monday in Goteborg, Sweden. He was 67.

The cause was cancer, said his literary agent Anneli Hoier.  Last year, Mr. Mankell disclosed that doctors had found tumors in his neck and left lung.

Mr. Mankell was considered the dean of the so-called Scandinavian noir writers who gained global prominence for novels that blended edge-of-your-seat suspense with flawed, compelling protagonists and strong social themes. The genre includes Arnaldur Indridason of Iceland, Jo Nesbø of Norway and Stieg Larsson of Sweden, among others.

But it was Mr. Mankell who led the way with 10 mystery novels featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander, a gruff but humane detective troubled by self-doubt, overeating, alcoholism and eventually dementia. Most of the action takes place in and around Ystad, a real-life town of 18,350 inhabitants on the Baltic Sea, about 380 miles south of Stockholm and now a magnet for Wallander buffs.

From The Guardian:

The Nordic crime-writing community was quick to pay tribute, with Norwegian Jo Nesbø describing him as “generous, committed, reflective and warm.” He continued: “As I see it, Henning Mankell both carried on and modernized the Scandinavian crime fiction tradition dating back to Sjöwall & Wahlöö, in style as well as content. He was one of the most important pioneers of Scandinavian crime literature, if not the most important of all.”

The bestselling Icelandic crime writer Yrsa Sigurdardottir said that Mankell “was undoubtedly the single most important person involved in bringing Scandinavian crime fiction to the rest of the world.

“His novels were immensely popular and for a reason; his mastery lay in being able to combine compelling characters, intriguing crimes and matters of social injustice into stories that were not only enjoyable but also very well written. So much so that they transcended borders and made the foreign reader forget the odd names and unfamiliar locations,” she said.

1 comment:

Priscilla said...

Sad news. He was one of my favorites.