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I Die, But The Memory Lives On [Paperback]

Henning Mankell

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Book Description

3 Jun 2004

The problem of Aids has been kept largely under control in Europe, but in the Third World it is a different story. There is a devestating lack of resources for medicine and for education. When parents die at a young age, children are left behind with no-one to teach them how to avoid the same fate, and so the cycle continues.

Memory Books could prove to be the most important documents in our time in answer to this crisis. When the official reports have been filed away, these slim volumes, memories recorded by those who died too soon, will remain. Through a combination of words and drawings, they can have a legacy, a hope that future generations may not suffer the same heartbreaking fate.

Henning Mankell is not a public figure in the way politicians are, but he has achieved cult success with his Kurt Wallander novels and is noted for the social and moral questions raised by his fiction. He devotes much of his time to work with Aids charities.

I Die But the Memory Lives on is a fable illustrating the importance of books as a means of education, of preserving memories and of sharing life. In the midst of death and suffering, a young girl plants a tree. She nurtures it as a fragment of life that will grow and survive and, like the Memory Books, outlive this global crisis. Mankell, by highlighting and humanising this catastrophe, proposes a way to help.


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More About the Author

Henning Mankell has become a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prize-winning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries are currently dominating bestseller lists all over the globe. His books have been translated into over forty languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell devotes much of his free time to working with Aids charities in Africa, where he is also director of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo.

In 2008, the University of St Andrews conferred Henning Mankell with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his major contribution to literature and to the practical exercise of conscience. www.henningmankell.co.uk

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Book Description

A powerful, moving and tragic account of the families shattered and children abandoned as a result of the spread of HIV and, through the Memory Books project, a hope for the future.

About the Author

Henning Mankell has become a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prizewinning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries are currently dominating bestseller lists all over the globe. His books have been translated into over forty languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell devotes much of his free time to working with Aids charities in Africa, where he is also director of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo. In 2008, the University of St Andrews conferred Henning Mankell with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his major contribution to literature and to the practical exercise of conscience.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Want To Tell You How Much I Love You" 7 Jan 2008
By H. F. Corbin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As the Swedish mystery writer Henning Mankell traveled over Africa, he discovered Memory Books usually written by parents infected with AIDS for their children. In this slim but powerful volume he says that he read 30 of them. He has chosen to include here the memory book of a highly literate nurse left for her son Peter Kanyi. She reminds him of her family's traditions and values-- that he should respect his elders, support the needy and work hard to make a living. She closes her letter to him by declaring how much she loves him and instructs him to "keep away from AIDS."

Mr. Mankell writes his own commentary-- interwoven with the nurse's words-- of how he got involved in the memory book project, some of his own fears and close escapes with death, the role that racism plays in the AIDS struggle in Africa, the myths about the disease-- that you can be cured by having intercourse with a virgin-- the greed of the drug companies. And he writes of persons he met, most notably Christine, a teacher infected with AIDS, and her daughter Aida who plants a mango tree, such a beautiful symbol of hope, in the--as Christine says so eloquently-- the mess of AIDS in Uganda. Her exact words: "'Death always makes a mess of things, no matter when it comes.'" Mr. Mankell also introduces us to Moses who has written 15 books, one for each of his children and grandchildren.

What resonates on every page of I DIE BUT MY MEMORY LIVES ON is the humanity of Mr. Mankell-- one gets that from reading his novels but it is a consolation to have it affirmed here-- and the dignity with which the people he writes about face sickness and death. "Being illiterate is not the same thing as being devoid of dignity," he says. Mr. Mankell tells a true story to Christine and her daughter Aida that occurred during the civil war in Mozambique in 1990. There he met a man, perhaps 19 or 20, whose clothes were in tatters. He was barefoot but he had painted shoes on his feet to show that he was a human being with dignity. "I learned that we should all be aware that there could come a day when we too will have to paint shoes onto our feet." Of course this is the same writer who has a character in a novel say that every friendship is a miracle.

The Memory Book Project invites comparison with the Names Project, the brain child of Clive Jones in San Francisco in 1987, that has now mushroomed from a single panel to a quilt that covers six city blocks. Although different in many ways-- the quilt panels are made by family and friends of those who have died of AIDS-- both projects strive to keep alive the memories of the fallen.

If you think you cannot read yet another book about AIDS, this one may surprise you. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, another great humanitarian, writes in a foreword that by "encouraging parents to recall their life stories, not just for their children, but also for humanity, Henning Mankell has given a great gift to the world." Indeed he has.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Die, But My Memory Lives On 30 Nov 2007
By Catherine C. Cudahy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Title: I Die, But My Memory Lives On

Author: Henning Mankell

Summary: AIDS. It's a terrifying and deadly disease. In the book a few of its many victims share the way that it has affected them. Some fail to protect themselves, while others were affected through the deaths of their loved ones. In the midst of her mother's death, a young girl named Aida raises a mango tree, an attempt to bring life in to a country filled with despair and death.

In this book we enjoyed the fact that it taught us about AIDS and how people are affected by it. It has changed our perspective on AIDS in general because now we know what they think and what they are feeling.

We think that this book would be better it the author shared more about their experiences with AIDS than his. We also believe that if the memory books that the victims have written were displayed at the end of the book as a separate section rather than enter twined with the story.

We would recommend this book to:

Girls of the ages between 13 and 16

And Boys of the ages of 15 and 18

We would recommend this book to those people because it is a very moving book and shocks you with the information that is given. It would be best read by more mature people because it is very moving and illustrative about how people with AIDS and their family members are affective.

- Tracy, Holly, Claire-Anne, and Nicolette
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