World famous for his Kurt Wallander mysteries, Henning Mankell has been published in 35 countries, with more than 25 million copies of his books in print.
“Nelio is dead. And however unlikely it may sound, it seemed to me that he died without once being afraid. How can that be possible?”
—from Chronicler of the Winds
In Chronicler of the Winds, Mankell gives us something different: a beautifully crafted novel that is a testament to the power of storytelling itself. On the rooftop of a theatre in an African port, a ten-year-old boy lies, slowly dying of bullet wounds. He is Nelio, a leader of street kids, rumoured to be a healer and a prophet, and possessed of a strangely ancient wisdom.
One of the millions of poor people “forced to eat life raw,” Nelio tells his unforgettable story over the course of nine nights. After bandits cruelly raze his village, he joins the legions of abandoned children living in the city’s streets. An act of the imagination, an effort to prove to his comrades that life must be more than mere survival, cuts short Nelio’s life.
Henning Mankell’s Chronicler of the Winds is a dazzling new venture from the master of crime; a beautifully told fable of the African continent.
About the Author
Henning Mankell is the prize-winning and internationally acclaimed author of the Inspector Wallander Mysteries, now dominating bestseller lists throughout Europe. He devotes much of his free time to working with AIDS charities in Africa where he is also director of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo, Mozambique.
“Mankell writes eloquently of the realities of poverty and violence without becoming sugary or didactic … an expert craftsman.”
“This is a deeply affecting read, one of those rare novels whose taste lingers for days afterwards.”
—The Sunday Herald (UK)
“An elegant story about storytelling.”
“Evocative, quietly powerful.… It’s impossible not to be moved by the tale of Nelio and his short and painful life.”
“Chronicler of the Winds widens [Mankell’s] repertoire, switching between the nightmarish, the dream-like and the gritty realistic.”
—The New York Times
“Mankell’s novel is about the broken legacy of colonialism and the greed and violence that follow in its wake. The heroes (and victims) of this chaos are boys like Nelio and José who refuse to succumb to the brutality that surrounds them…. Timely and well worth reading.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“This is a wonderful book about the importance of stories, its own sheer quality providing its best argument.”
—Daily Mail (UK)