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.
"Earnest and heartbreaking ... Mankell fully understands Daniel's radically different cultural perspective and indelibly captures the boy's longing to return to his homeland." - Publishers Weekly
"Glum by even Scandinavian standards, Mankell's narrative radiates a haunting intensity despite measured pacing. The dearth of suspense likely will disappoint Wallander fans; this is strictly for readers unafraid of bleak literary fiction" - Library Journal
"Starred Review. An ambitious, flawed but compelling addition to the Mankell canon." - Kirkus
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Henning Mankell is the acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries. The books have been published in thirty-three countries and consistently top the bestseller lists in Europe, receiving major literary prizes (including the UK's Golden Dagger Award in 2000) and generating numerous international film and television adaptations. Born in a village in northern Sweden in 1948, Mankell divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique.
Kurt Wallander Series (dates are English-language publication dates):
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