Author Quotes: Henning Mankell Quote on How Big is the World…

Sailing Boat, Mozambique

Henning Mankell (1948-2015), the Swedish crime writer, narrated this incident at a literary festival. I happen to have a documented, undated magazine cutting of the same, paraphrased below.  
Mankell was apparently interacting with an audience at Inhaca, Mozambique once. On an unexpected tangent, some curious teenagers, inadvertently infused a twist into the proceedings. It was an inquiry posed with utmost seriousness. Baffling as it may seem, the query was probably more surprising than all the ingenious plot deviations of  any crime thriller: When a boy and girl kiss each other, who is the one that must close their eyes? 

Sometimes a question can glint with a hundred radiant answers. Mankell discovered that kissing played no part in lovemaking on the island. They just didn’t know it. All attempts at kissing were an imitation sourced from movies and magazines. There are people in the world that do not know what we do in our part of the world at all. Mankell ended his story with the following quote.   
“Many people say the world of today is so small. I say no.The world of today is really as big as it really is. If you are young today, go out in the world, and search to see how big is the world, not how small is the world. This story I give you as a present.” 
–  Henning Mankell

(Article by Snehith Kumbla)

Henning Mankell

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