Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Captivating memoir of sorts by the late legendary Henning Mankell
‘In January 2014 I was informed that I had cancer. However, Quicksand is not a book about death and destruction, but about what it means to be human.’ — Henning Mankell
Quicksand (Harvill Secker - $38) is a new collection of thought-provoking and fascinating short essays. The collection was inspired in part by Mankell’s diagnosis and treatment for cancer and is the closest thing we will ever have to a memoir. It explores topics from art and jealousy to Ice Ages past and present and the future of our planet. Quicksand is a stark and touching narration on how humanity has lived and continues to live.
Henning Mankell (1948 – 2015) became a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prize-winning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries continue to dominate bestseller lists all over the globe and his books have been translated into forty-five languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh.
Driven by a desire to change the world and to fight against racism and nationalism, Mankell devoted much of his time to working with charities in Africa, including SOS Children’s Villages and PLAN International, where he was also director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo.
The final translation by the late Laurie Thompson
Laurie Thompson, translator. After retiring from teaching modern languages at universities in Sweden and Wales, Laurie Thompson (1938 – 2015) continued working as a freelance translator of Swedish literature. A founding member of SELTA (Swedish-English Literary Translators’ Association), he also edited the journal Swedish Book Review from 1983 to 2002. In addition to his academic publications, he published around sixty translations, including books by Henning Mankell, Håkan Nesser, Stig Dagerman and Mikael Niemi. Quicksand was his last translation.