The problem of Aids has been kept largely under control in Europe, but in the Third World it is a different story. There is a devestating lack of resources for medicine and for education. When parents die at a young age, children are left behind with no-one to teach them how to avoid the same fate, and so the cycle continues.
Memory Books could prove to be the most important documents in our time in answer to this crisis. When the official reports have been filed away, these slim volumes, memories recorded by those who died too soon, will remain. Through a combination of words and drawings, they can have a legacy, a hope that future generations may not suffer the same heartbreaking fate.
Henning Mankell is not a public figure in the way politicians are, but he has achieved cult success with his Kurt Wallander novels and is noted for the social and moral questions raised by his fiction. He devotes much of his time to work with Aids charities.
I Die But the Memory Lives on is a fable illustrating the importance of books as a means of education, of preserving memories and of sharing life. In the midst of death and suffering, a young girl plants a tree. She nurtures it as a fragment of life that will grow and survive and, like the Memory Books, outlive this global crisis. Mankell, by highlighting and humanising this catastrophe, proposes a way to help.