Henning Mankell

Daniel

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From the bestselling author of the Kurt Wallander novels: The “haunting and fascinating” tale of a young boy’s harrowing odyssey from Africa to Sweden (Booklist).
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 boy whose parents have been killed by European colonists. Christening the boy Daniel, Hans brings him back to Sweden—a quite different specimen than he first contemplated.
Daniel is told to call Bengler “Father,” and to knock on doors and bow. He 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 follows Daniel through a series of tragedies and betrayals that culminate in a shocking act. Henning Mankell, a world-renowned “master of atmosphere,” offers this “quiet tragedy” with a ruthless elegance all his own (The Boston Globe).
“Historical touches mingle with elements of magic realism to convey themes dear to the author’s heart.” —Los Angeles Times
“An engrossing story, with a real sense of pace and adventure, illuminated by empathy with the bewilderment and longing of a clever, lonely child.” —The Independent
“Mankell’s fierce instinct for social criticism is admirable.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A writer with the imagination, brains, resources . . . [who] make[s] thoughtful, challenging, exciting, artistic novels.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Mankell is expert at depicting brutal scenes. He’s also adept at getting inside exotic heads like Daniel’s; this book’s greatest strength is imagination. Its second greatest is empathy.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Earnest and heartbreaking. . . . Mankell fully understands Daniel's radically different cultural perspective and indelibly captures the boy’s longing to return to his homeland and the tragic consequences of his forced exile.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] story of clashes of culture and race in the nineteenth century as well as a touching, sometimes cruel examination of familial and other human ties.” —Booklist
This book is currently unavailable
329 printed pages
Original publication
2013
Publication year
2013
Publisher
The New Press
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