Swedish author and playwright Henning Mankell, whose best-selling mystery series featuring the dour Inspector Kurt Wallander were among the first in what is now famous as Scandinavian crime fiction or Nordic Noir, and revealed his country’s dark side, has died.
“Henning Mankell was one of the great Swedish authors of our time, loved by readers in Sweden and all over the world”.
Kenneth Branagh starred as Wallander in the British TV series of the same name, which ran for four seasons from 2008.
The prickly character of Wallander hails from the coastal town of Ystad which has drawn fans of the detective series from around the world curious to follow in his fictional footsteps.
Mankell was diagnosed with cancer in January 2014, and wrote about his treatment column for Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, admitting that his “anxiety is very profound”. His books have sold more than 40 million copies and are translated into more than 40 languages.
“A few days later…”
He detailed his experience of dealing with cancer in his book Quicksand: What It Means to be a Human Being.
Dividing his time between Mozambique and Sweden, Mankell also wrote dozens of plays, novels and children’s books.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter earlier in the year, Branagh said that he talked to Mankell about finishing Wallander and that the writer was “tremendously unsentimental” about it coming to an end. A fierce critic of Israel, he compared its policies to the apartheid policies of South Africa, and in 2010 was arrested on board a flotilla of vessels that attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
His agent, Leopard Forlag, confirmed the death on Monday morning, saying: “He passed away quietly last night in the wake of disease”.
He leaves his wife of 17 years, Eva Bergman, the daughter of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman.