October 2010 Indie Next List
“Mankell jumps across genres to give us this haunting and heartbreaking novel of an African boy ripped from his Kalahari desert homeland and taken to Sweden in the late 19th century. Only if Daniel can learn to walk on water can he realize his hope to get home. An amazingly original, meritorious novel.”
— Deal Safrit, Literary Book Post, Salisbury, NC
Henning Mankell is a worldwide phenomenon: his books have been translated into forty languages with more than 35 million copies in print, and both his critical acclaim and fan base only continue to grow. His new novel Daniel is an elegiac, unexpected story that only he could have told.
In the 1870s, Hans Bengler arrives in Cape Town from Småland, Sweden, driven by a singular desire: to discover an insect no one has seen before and name it after himself. But then he impulsively adopts a young San orphan, a boy he christens Daniel and brings with him back to Sweden—a quite different specimen than he first contemplated. Daniel is told to call Bengler "Father," taught to knock on doors and bow, and continually struggles to understand this strange new land of mud and snow that surrounds and seemingly entraps him. At the same time, he is haunted by visions of his murdered parents calling him home to Africa. Knowing that the only way home is by sea, he decides he must learn to walk on water if he is ever to reclaim his true place in the world.
Evocative and sometimes brutal, the novel takes Daniel through a series of tragedies and betrayals that culminate in a shocking act. Mankell tells this indelible story with a ruthless elegance all his own.
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.
Steven T. Murray is an American translator from Swedish, German, Danish, and Norwegian. He has worked under the pseudonyms Reg Keeland and McKinleyBurnett when edited into UK English. In 2001 he won the Gold Dagger Awardin the UK for his translation of Sidetracked by Henning Mankell.