Media Center: ‘Treacherous Paradise’ by Henning Mankell
WHO: Henning Mankell
WHAT: A TREACHEROUS PARADISE, a novel
WHEN: Published by Knopf July 9, 2013
WHERE: Set in Sweden and East Africa.
WHY: “Scandinavian crime fiction’s brightest star.
“Mankell structures his latest around a true story from turn-of-the-century Mozambique.
“In 1904, Hanna Lundmark, a young widow from poverty-stricken northern Sweden, arrives in Lourenço Marques, a coastal town in Portuguese East Africa. Following a series of unexpected events, she becomes the owner of a prosperous brothel of black prostitutes. Her new environment proves difficult to navigate, particularly its blatant racism. Nobody knows what to make of a rich white businesswoman, either.
“Black-white relations, evoked with subtle skill and mordant humor, are marked by mutual incomprehension and fear, and Hanna’s attempts at friendliness and generosity toward her employees are met with unnatural silences. Considerable suspense derives from the tense atmosphere and the fact that neither Hanna nor the reader knows quite what will happen next. The tragic effects of colonialism in this divided land emerge slowly via a succession of shocking reveals.
“This powerful work boasts a courageous, well-drawn heroine and makes its points without stridency or didacticism.” —Sarah Johnson, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“Mankell’s gift lies in the creation of a sequence of events that is credible and illuminating. The proverbial stranger in a strange land, Hanna is the lens that exposes the ugly realities of racism, sexism, and colonialism, and her story, like the story of Africa itself, is tragically sad.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“A story as magical as a fairy tale and just about as brutal too.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
Translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson.
About the book | About the author | Read an excerpt | Download the jacket or the author photo | Listen to the Random House AudioBook
Publicist for this title:
Gabrielle Brooks | 212-572-2152 | firstname.lastname@example.org