From the internationally acclaimed author of the Wallander crime series, a dramatic new stand-alone novel set in turn-of-the-century Sweden and Mozambique, whose indomitable female protagonist is awoken from naiveté
by her exposure to racism, and by her own unexpected inner strengths.
Cold and poverty define Hanna Renström’s childhood in remote northern Sweden, and in 1905, at 19, she boards a ship for Australia in hope of a better life. After 2 brief marriages, she finds herself a widow twice over, and the owner of a bordello in Portuguese East Africa. As Hanna’s story unfurls over the next several years, we watch her in this “treacherous paradise,” as she wrestles with a constant, wrenching loneliness and with the racism she’s meant to unthinkingly adopt. And as her life becomes increasingly intertwined with the prostitutes, she moves inexorably toward the moment when she will make a decision that defies every expectation society has of her, and, more importantly, those she has of herself.
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
“Masterful prose. As always with Mankell, the characters are brilliantly conceived.” Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
“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.” Publishers Weekly
“We need literature in translation: it’s a great boon to our various cultures, as the sensuous, beguiling tapestry of A Treacherous Paradise makes abundantly clear.” William Boyd, The New York Times Book Review