I Die, But My Memory Lives On

The World AIDS Crisis and the Memory Book Project

Internationally bestselling mystery author Henning Mankell explores the new African tradition of memory books, written by parents dying of AIDS for their children

“If there is one thing that is certain when it comes to AIDS in Africa, it is that you will not die alone.” —from I Die, But My Memory Lives On

Henning Mankell, internationally famous creator of the bestselling Kurt Wallander mysteries, here offers a nonfiction fable about a heartrending tradition spawned by a major health crisis: the invaluable Memory Book Project, which gives those dying of AIDS an opportunity to record their lives in words and pictures for the children they leave behind.

In Uganda, Mankell finds village after village populated only by children and the elderly—those left behind after AIDS swept away an entire generation. These slim, intensely personal volumes can contain words, pictures, a pressed butterfly, or even grains of sand as ways to represent the lives lost to this devastating plague. Excerpts from Ugandan memory books appear throughout I Die, But My Memory Lives On and, together with Mankell’s narrative, they tell stories of individual lives while sounding a powerful warning about the threat of AIDS.

Featuring a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the book includes an appendix listing AIDS organizations and resources. A portion of the book’s proceeds with be donated to AIDS charities in Africa.


“[W]ritten with passion. . . .[S]hows what the epidemic feels like at the frontline of villages in Africa, and the most precious inheritance parents can leave their children—their memories, identities, and links with the past and the future. Above all, this book is about dignity, hope, and emotional healing. It is about nurturing new life in the face of death.”
The Lancet
“Mankell captures the human dignity of everyone he meets in this small yet moving book.”
Good Reading

Books by Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers
A Kurt Wallander Mystery

Henning Mankell

The Dogs of Riga
A Kurt Wallander Mystery

Henning Mankell

The Eye of the Leopard
A Novel

Henning Mankell

The Fifth Woman
A Kurt Wallander Mystery

Henning Mankell

Goodreads Reviews