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Mankell's Chronicler of the Winds arrives in April
Posted 2006-03-23
Chronicler of the Winds German editionHenning Mankell's novel Chronicler of the Winds, which was originally published in Swedish as Comédia Infantil, gets its English-language debut in April. In it, Mankell tells the story of a young boy named Nelio who recounts his short life to a stranger while dying:
  One night Jose Antonio Maria Vaz hears gunfire from the deserted theatre next door to his bakery. He races to the theatre's uppermost gallery, and there beneath him on a spotlit stage lies the wounded body of Nelio, a street urchin renowned for living on his wits. Gasping, the wounded boy asks to be taken to the roof to breathe the beautiful air fresh off the Indian Ocean. On that theatre roof, his life ebbing away, Nelio begins his story.

At the age of five, Nelio watched helplessly as his village was burned to the ground and his people were massacred by bandits. He escaped by chance; a man handed him a gun and ordered him to shoot another boy, but instead he turned the gun on the bandit and ran. He made his way to the coast, encountering en route bizarre characters who gave him guidance. Upon arrival in the city Nelio joined a rough street gang, and began a very different way of life.


The novel will be released in the UK on 6 April followed a week later with the US release on 15 April.

Chronicler of the Winds book cover, UK edtion  Chronicler of the Winds book cover, US edition
The UK and US editions, respectively

Some people may be surprised to learn this novel was adapted as a film in 1998 under the original title Comédia Infantil.