Patti Smith mourns her close friend Henning Mankell

Av: Joni Nykänen, Kerstin Nilsson


Rock legend expresses her sorrow in an exclusive email to Aftonbladet: ”I hesitate to rise and begin my day”

1 av 2 | Foto: AP/TT
Patti Smith.

Rock icon Patti Smith mourns her dear friend, Swedish author Henning Mankell.

In an exclusive email to Aftonbladet she writes: ”In my mind I see his desk, the pages of his manuscripts, his black clothing, his knowing eyes”.


Monday morning the American rock star and poet Patti Smith was woken up by the news that her Swedish friend, author Henning Mankell, has passed away.

In an email to Aftonbladet's reporter Joni Nykänen the rock legend puts words to her feelings: ”Through a few simple words I could feel the reverberations of his stoic grief” writes Ms Smith.

Tuesday night is opening night for her tour ”M train”, put together to celebrate the release of her autobiography also named ”M train” and news of the death of a dear friend devastated her. She writes: ”I hesitate to rise and begin my day as I know each moment will form a clearer sense of the irredeemable loss of our dear friend and mentor.”

Shared a long friendship

Patti Smith and Henning Mankell shared a long friendship and kept in close contact. Mr Mankell has told of the support Ms Smith gave him through his cancer ordeal. He considered her a pioneer, an inspiring force, paving way for several young females in music. He admired and respected her - as she respected him.

Just about a year ago, on July 29 2014, Patti Smith visited Henning Mankell and his wife Eva Bergman in their house by the sea, north of the town Kungsbacka.

The following day she performed at the Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg - and the visit to Sweden was a great opportunity for a visit to her friend and mentor. At that time Henning Mankell was already marked by the cancer.

Held a private concert in his home

Patti Smith brought her guitarist since 40 years, Lenny Kaye. Henning Mankell and his wife had invited a few friends, including Swedish Kurt Wallander-actor Krister Henriksson and the evening was unforgettable, or as Mr Mankell himself put it in a chronicle in Swedish daily Göteborgsposten: “divinely gifted”.

He also wrote: ”We were lucky with the weather, could be seated outside and had salmon and new potatoes, and then she sang together with Lenny”.

Now Patti Smith, together with many others across the world, mourns a great writer, but above all a generous and committed friend. In the email to Aftonbladet she writes: ”As an author he inspired, entertained and incited. As a man he encouraged, supported and openly shared. In my mind I see his desk, the pages of his manuscripts, his black clothing, his knowing eyes.”

Ms Smith continues: ”He gave me Kurt Wallander, and even more precious, his hand in friendship. Neither man shall be lost, but retained in art and memory.”

Today Patti Smiths heart goes out to Henning Mankell's family and loved ones: ”My thoughts are with his wife Eva, his son Jon, and all who loved him” writes she.