The Eye of the Leopard: Book summary and reviews of The Eye of the Leopard by Henning Mankell

The Eye of the Leopard

A Novel

by Henning Mankell

The Eye of the Leopard
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2008
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Interweaving past and present, Sweden and Zambia, The Eye of the Leopard draws on bestselling author Henning Mankell's deep understanding of the two worlds he has inhabited for more than twenty years.

Hans Olofson arrives in Zambia not long after independence, hoping to fulfill the missionary dream of his friend Janice. He is also fleeing the traumas of his motherless childhood: his father's alcoholism, his best friend's terrible accident, Janice's death, his fear of an ordinary and stifled fate. Africa is a terrible shock, yet he stays and makes it his home. But he never fully comes to understand his place as a mzungu, a wealthy white man among native blacks, and the fragile truce between them. Rumors of an underground army of revolutionaries wearing leopard skins warn him that the truce is in danger of rupturing.

Alternating between Hans's years in Africa and those in Sweden, The Eye of the Leopard is a bravura achievement and a study in contrasts—black and white, poor and wealthy, Africa and Europe—both sinister and elegiac.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[I]t's the character of Olofson and his complex, unsettling relationship with the Zambians and Africa that make this disquieting novel so compelling." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Henning Mankell Author Biography

Author Henning Mankell was the acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries plus more than 20 other novels, both series and stand-alones. The Kurt Wallander series has been published in thirty-three countries and consistently tops 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 divided his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique until his death in October 2015 from cancer.

Kurt Wallander Series Order (dates are English-language publication dates):

  1. Faceless Killers (1997)

  2. The Dogs of Riga, (2001)

  3. White Lioness (1998)

  4. The Man Who Smiled, (2005)

  5. Sidetracked (1999)

  6. The Fifth ...

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