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  • Published: 6 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409018551
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

The Shadow Girls

The inspirational tale of a writer who finds himself caught up in the extraordinary stories of three young immigrant girls in Sweden by the 'Swedish John le Carre', Henning Mankell

Tea-Bag, a young Nigerian girl, has fled a refugee camp in Spain for the promise of a new life in Sweden. Tania has made a long and dangerous journey to escape themisery of life in a brothel. Leila has travelled with her family from Iran. All of them are facing different challenges in their new home.

Meanwhile, celebrated poet Jesper Humlin is looking for inspiration. Harried by his mother and girlfriend, misunderstood by his publisher and tormented by his stockbroker, Jesper needs a new perspective on life. A chance encounter with Tea-Bag leads him into the shadow world of the immigrant experience in Sweden. Initially he sees the girls purely as material for his work, but they have very different ideas.

This inspiring novel encompasses both humour and tragedy and illuminates our understanding of those left on the margins of our society.

  • Published: 6 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409018551
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the author

Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell (1948-2015) became a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prizewinning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries continue to dominate bestseller lists all over the globe and his books have been translated into forty-five languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh.

Driven by a desire to change the world and to fight against racism and nationalism, Mankell devoted much of his time to working with charities in Africa, including SOS Children’s Villages and PLAN International, where he was 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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Praise for The Shadow Girls

Mankell writes with both a social conscience and great humour…it is both passionate and entertaining, and a strong indication that the Swedes are not as lugubrious as their crime fiction makes them out to be

Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph

Three girls escaping horror and hardship to make new lives in Sweden become the inspiration for troubled poet Jesper. But Mankell is too clever and cunning an author to go down any predictable path. Inspirational

Henry Sutton, Daily Mirror

This quirky offering sets out to tackle the weighty topics of immigration and how refugees affect Swedish society

Doug Johnston, Independent on Sunday

Mankell is giving a voice to those who do not possess one. Some may feel that there are two kinds of novel here, which remain obstinately heterogeneous. But such is Mankell’s skill that we surrender to whatever mode the book settles into – and it might be argued that the comic sugaring of the pill in The Shadow Girls makes the hidden agenda all the more potent

Barry Forshaw, Independent

As we are drawn into the shadow world of immigrant life in Sweden, Mankell’s blend of comedy and moving drama provides a voice for those who lose theirs on their journey from oppression to imagined freedom; freedom which is often transient and blighted with prejudice and racism

Irish Examiner

Fascinating novel

Bella Magazine

A passionate and enjoyable tale that intertwines the story of a failed writer with those of the refugee women to whom he teaches creative writing

Sunday Telegraph

Mankell adroitly mixes cheerful satire and harrowing detail, and this hymn to the mistreated and marginalised sparks with passion

James Smart, Guardian

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