In 1904, Hanna Renstrom boards a ship bound for Australia hoping to escape the cold and poverty that have dominated her life in Sweden. Her harrowing journey lands her in Portuguese East Africa, a world where colonialism and white colonists rule, where she becomes a peculiar outsider: she is on the outskirts of white society, because of her gender and profession as the owner of a bordello, and separated from the African prostitutes with whom she lives due to her skin color. As her life becomes increasingly intertwined with the brothel, Hanna moves inexorably toward the moment when one decision will defy all the expectations society has of her and, most important, those she has of herself.
Henning Mankell imbues this deeply moving story with all of the gripping drama, vividly drawn characters, and evocative details of place that fans of his acclaimed Kurt Wallander crime novels have come to love.
About the Author
Henning Mankell is Sweden's bestselling author worldwide. His novels have been translated into thirty-seven languages with more than 30 million copies in print. The winner of many prizes, he divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique, where he has worked as a director at Teatro Avenida since 1985. Ebba Segerberg has translated four of Henning Mankell's novels. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis, where she lives.