If you love detective novels, you likely recognize Henning Mankell (1948 - 2015) whose police inspector Kurt Wallander was the crime solver in 10 bestselling novels
The Wallander books have sold over 30 million copies in 40 languages and have been adapted to film, including a popular BBC series, starring Kenneth Branagh as Wallander.
But here is something about Henning you may not have known:
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Henning had little formal education, leaving school at 16 to join the merchant marine, where his job was to load, unload and maintain the cargo ships.
In the merchant marine, sailors are gone for months at a time as they travel to distant ports and have a wide variety of experiences. This is where Henning received what he later called his "real university" education.
At every opportunity he wrote, submitting his first play at the age of 19 and releasing his first novel at the age of 25, ever honing his writing skills.
But there was another aspect to his life.
Since his boyhood in Sweden, Henning read about Africa, a place that fascinated him. When he got the money from the sale of his first novel, he bought a plane ticket to Guinea Bissau in Africa.
"I don't know why but when I got off the plane in Africa," Henning later wrote, "I had a curious feeling of coming home."
Thereafter, Henning spent much of his life in Africa as he worked with African charities, such as in Uganda, where he worked on "memory books."
With so many parents dying of AIDs, he and others encouraged parents to record their life stories in "memory books" so their children would know who their parents were.
In Mozambique, he helped to create and finance a village where orphaned children are wanted and nurtured.
That is how Henning lived his life, with the fulfillment of being a successful writer, but also in doing his best to make the world as he saw it, a better place.