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Download A Treacherous Paradise Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Treacherous Paradise, by Henning Mankell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henning Mankell Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Cold and poverty define Hanna Renström’s childhood in remote northern Sweden, and in 1904, at nineteen, she boards a ship for Australia in hope of a better life. But none of her hopes, or fears, prepare her for the life she will lead.

After two brief marriages both leave her widowed, she finds herself the owner of a bordello in Portuguese East Africa, a world where colonialism and white colonists rule, where she is isolated within white society by her profession and her gender, and, among the bordello’s black prostitutes, by her color. As Hanna’s story unfurls over the next several years in this “treacherous paradise,” she wrestles with a devastating loneliness and with the racism she’s meant to unthinkingly adopt. And as her life becomes increasingly intertwined with the prostitutes’, she moves inexorably toward the moment when she will make a decision that defies all the expectations society has of her and, more important, those she has of herself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fascinating new novel [with] unusual flavor. It often reads like a fable of folktale…Reminiscent of Latin American magic realism, transplanted to Africa…Carlos the chimp might have come out of a Garcia Marquez novel, and the richly colored details of brothel life could be from a sprawling Jorge Amado tale…[A] sensuous, beguiling tapestry.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Mankell uses his deep knowledge of Mozambique’s history and politics to great advantage in this unusual and riveting story.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “[An] engrossing tale of a woman cast adrift in an alien world…How she confronts the loneliness and racism of her unique place spins out in Mankell’s masterful prose. As always with Mankell, the characters are brilliantly conceived.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “[Mankell’s] gift lies in the creation of a sequence of events that is credible and illuminating. The proverbial stranger in a strange land, Hanna is the lens that exposes the ugly realities of racism, sexism, and colonialism—easy targets, obviously, but this book is very much of a piece with Mankell’s nongenre, and more polemical works. Hanna is a curious mix of helplessness and fortitude, and her story, like the story of Africa itself, is tragically sad.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Impressively deft…By the time it ends, readers might be surprised how far they have traveled…both literally and psychologically. It’s a testament to how powerfully moving and nuanced Mankell’s books can be, when he turns his attention away from corpses and world-weary detectives.”

    Tampa Tribune

  • “Considerable suspense derives from the tense atmosphere and the fact that neither Hanna nor the reader knows quite what will happen next. The tragic effects of colonialism in this divided land emerge slowly via a succession of shocking reveals. This powerful work boasts a courageous, well-drawn heroine and makes its points without stridency or didacticism. Since it’s written by Mankell, an author of such high stature, it should get the large audience it deserves.”


  • “Rosalyn Landor has a wonderful, clear voice that is very pleasant to listen to, with excellent accents for the voiced characters.”


  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick in August 2013
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