From the bestselling author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries: An “uplifting . . . grittily realistic” fable about war-torn Africa and a mystical orphan boy (The New York Times)
A single gunshot cracks the silence of a hot African night. On the rooftop of a local theater company, a ten-year-old boy slowly dies of bullet wounds. He is Nelio, a leader of street kids, rumored to be a healer and a prophet, and possessed of a strangely ancient wisdom.
One of the millions of poor people “forced to eat life raw,” Nelio refuses to be taken to the hospital. Instead, he tells the unforgettable story of his life to a sole witness. Over the course of nine nights, a baker named José Antonio listens as bandits cruelly raze Nelio’s village, propelling him to join the legions of abandoned children living in the streets. A grand act of imagination intended to prove to his comrades that existence must be more than mere survival, cuts Nelio’s life short. As the tale unfolds, José is forever changed. He becomes the Chronicler of Winds, vowing to reveal Nelio’s magical words to all who will listen.
Short-listed for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature and nominated for the Swedish Publishers Association’s August Prize, Chronicler of Winds is a beautifully crafted novel that is a testament to the power of storytelling itself. “Mankell writes eloquently of the realities of poverty and violence without becoming sugary or didactic. . . . An expert craftsman” (The Observer, London).