Henning Mankell publishers do not think there’s unpublished manuscript lying. And one thing he is certain: There will be no more Wallander of Mankell – or anyone else.
– It is definitely clear. Henning was unthinkable that someone else would take over his fictional character. There have been people over the years who wanted to write Wallander stories, more or less serious proposals, but we have always said no, said Dan Israel that started Leopard publishers together with Henning Mankell.
Mankell wrote last book about Kurt Wallander 2013, and like the continuation of the Millennium will not happen, he said.
– I find it hard to believe that anyone who is seriously interested in Kurt Wallander would not turn to publisher and they will never get any support from us.
Dan Israel is the one who will manage Henning Mankell’s literary legacy, what he knows is nothing that is so complete that it could be published
– But you never know, it’s possible that I’ll find something when I’m digging into his big treasure chest.
Henning Mankell and Dan Israel had known each other a long time, the met 40 years ago when Israel was editor at Ordfront and gathered material for a temabok before May Day. He found a short story about a guy who built a porch of a wholesaler and was deceived. It was written by Mankell, who was then living in Norway, where he has published two books.
– I approached him and asked if he wants to give something out for us. We found that we were close ideologically, so he wanted to. We met and decided that we would publish the book Prison Colony that disappeared about a detective who was upset about the state of Sweden who was not named Wallander. When I was 26, he was 28.
Mankell published several novels on Ordfront which sold reasonably well, but then one day he came to Israel and said that he was concerned about the growing xenophobia in Sweden.
– Because he thought racism was a criminal so he wanted to write a crime novel. And so he wrote Faceless Killers. The rest is history.
When Dan Israel went over to Norstedts followed Henning Mankell with, but none of them really thrived in the large organization and they started talking about starting something own. 2001, the kind of thing and founded the publishing house Leopard.
– It was clear from the beginning that I would take care of the publisher and Henning would write, but he was part of the board and had views and could come up with tips on what we should give out. I continued to be his publisher and editor.
What did Henning Mankell for you personally?
– Aside from that, he changed my whole life and that a small part of his splendor poured down on me, so we were also very close friends. Men often do not have so many of them. We were close and could talk about other things than Kurt Wallander. His passing is a great personal loss.
When Henning Mankell came to Stockholm with a script he slept often on the sofa with Dan Israel.
– He followed the children to the kindergarten and took the dog for a walk and we talked.
Being a publisher and friend at the same time can be complicated.
– But we worked well together. Henning was a humble writer and listened to the advice, but it was obvious he was in charge. He was incredibly careful hone the language.
The last time they met was a week ago in a café in Gothenburg.
– Henning was at good spirits and we had a nice, good conversation and discussed future plans. He was active until the very end.