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Henning Mankell Interview in the New York Times
Posted 2003-11-16
Henning MankellThe New York Times ran a feature on Henning Mankell entitled Brightening Thrillers With a Gloomy Swedish Detective by Sara Lyall. The article is reprinted at the Leopard förlag website. Here is an excerpt:
  "I believe that Sweden is in many ways an average society," he said in an interview. "In my novels I try to talk about what worries me in Sweden today, the relation between the system of justice and democracy. In the last 15 years some people have started to lose their faith in the system of justice, in the police, in the courts, in judges."

Mr. Mankell is that unusual thing: a European thriller writer whose work holds up as literature and who has broken out as an international phenomenon. He is best known for his eight novels and a book of short stories featuring the gloomy, introspective and crotchety Inspector Kurt Wallander of the Ystad police force. These have sold some 20 million copies worldwide. (In the United States they are published by the New Press.) Mr. Mankell has also written plays, novels and nonfiction set in Africa, where he spends about half his time.

But it is the Wallander novels that have secured his reputation and through which he has emerged as the natural heir to the great Swedish crime novelists Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. "Apart from his uncommon skill at devising dense, multilayered plots, Mankell's forte is matching mood to setting and subject," Marilyn Stasio wrote in The New York Times Book Review. "Whether it's a magisterial storm at sea or the `gray mud, gray trees, gray sky' of a barren town in the dead of winter, the bleak imagery in these books is both a reflection of Wallander's state of mind and a comment on the greater darkness that he senses creeping over his country and his world."

 

Visit Leopard förlag to read the full article.

Thanks to Ine Jacet of the Dutch Wallander fan site for emailing this link.