By Henning Mankell
From the the world over acclaimed writer of the Kurt Wallander crime novels, a strong stand-alone novel set in early-twentieth-century Sweden and Mozambique, whose vividly drawn girl protagonist is awoken from her naïveté through her publicity to racism and via her personal unforeseen internal strengths.
chilly and poverty outline Hanna Renström’s adolescence in distant northern Sweden, and in 1904, at nineteen, she forums a boat for Australia in wish of a higher life. yet none of her hopes—or fears—prepares her for the lifestyles she is going to lead. After short marriages either depart her widowed, she reveals herself the landlord of a bordello in Portuguese East Africa, an international the place colonialism and white colonists rule, the place she is remoted inside white society by way of her career and her gender, and, one of the bordello’s black prostitutes, by way of her colour. As Hanna’s tale unfurls over the subsequent a number of years during this “treacherous paradise,” she wrestles with a devastating loneliness and with the racism she’s intended to unthinkingly undertake. And as her existence turns into more and more intertwined with the prostitutes’, she strikes inexorably towards the instant while she's going to decide that defies the entire expectancies society has of her and, extra very important, these she has of herself.
Gripping in its drama, evocative and searing in its portrait of colonial Africa, A Treacherous Paradise is, at its middle, a deeply relocating tale of a girl who manages to wrench knowledge, empathy, and style from the main unforgiving circumstances.
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Daß es für einen Ochsen bei dieser Hitze kein reines Vergnügen ist meilenweit über Land zu trotten und Staub zu schlucken, versteht sich ja wohl von selbst noch dazu, wenn man's nicht gewöhnt ist. Jedenfalls bin ich nicht böse gewesen, als Blaschke im Osslinger Kretscham einkehrte. ‹ ruft der Kretschmer, wie er uns kommen sieht, ›der Herr Vetter aus Kamenz! ‹ ›Dem können wir abhelfend, meint der Kretschmer. ›Komm in die Schankstube an den Herrentisch! « Andrusch spießte ein großes Stück Speck aufs Messer und schnupperte dran, bevor er es in den Mund schob und fortfuhr: »Sie haben mich in den Stall gebracht, der Kretschmer von Oßling hat nach der Stallmagd gerufen.
Was aber, zum Satan, war in den sie eskortierenden Leutnant gefahren, daß er den Schlingeln auf seinem Säbel voransprengte, den er sich wie ein Steckenpferd zwischen die Beine geklemmt hatte! Angesichts dieses höchst würdelosen Verhaltens eines kursächsischen Offiziers fiel es kaum ins Gewicht, daß sich auch dessen Leute einschließlich Tambour und Korporal nicht entblödeten, bei der Hopserei mitzumachen. « kommandierte Tonda, nachdem sie den Marsch zu Ende geblasen hatten. Dann bauten die Müllerburschen sich vor dem Obristen auf, schwenkten zum Gruß die Mützen und grinsten ihn an.
Hunger haben wir außerdem. Also aufgetischt, was die Küche hergibt und Bier oder Wein dazu, das ist einerlei, wenn's nur ausreicht - und ausreichen muß es, sonst schlag ich Ihm eigenhändig die Knochen im Leib en tzwei! « Tonda pfiff durch die Zähne, leicht nur und kurz, doch die Mühlknappen in der Stube hörten ihn. Als der Altgesell mit den Werbern die Stube betrat, war sie leer. « - 54 - Während die ungebetenen Gäste sich's in der Gesindestube behaglich machten, die Halsbinden lockerten und die Gamaschen aufknöpften, steckten die Mühlknappen in der Küche die Köpfe zusammen um zu beratschlagen.