I've written before about what I'll call the "walking into our consciousness" phenomenon. We learn the meaning of a new word, and suddenly we see and hear it everywhere. We find out a relative has a disease we've never heard of, and suddenly we see references to it everywhere. The word and the disease existed all along, of course, but we weren't conscious of them.
Two weeks ago, I had never heard of Swedish author Henning Mankell. A friend recommended him, so I checked out The Fifth Woman from the library and spent an entire Sunday unable to put it down. I was delighted to find that the author has been around a while, so I've got a whole series of his books to enjoy. (I'm almost finished with One Step Behind.)
Fast forward to last night. My husband and I were having dinner with friends, and I was looking forward to telling them about Mankell. I knew they would like him, and I knew Tedd loves to find a good writer and then read everything he's written. I even confess to deleting an email I was going to send them recommending Mankell because I was afraid, if I did, Tedd would get to the library before me and check out all the Mankell books. I wanted to get another book first.
Last night my friends arrived carrying some books to share with me. The first words out of their mouths: Have you heard of Henning Mankell? I think you'll really like this one. And they handed me a Henning Mankell book.
I find this so strange. Out of all the books in the world, they handed me one by the author I was just going to recommend to them, an author who has been around for years.
I suspect Mankell is going to be turning up a lot lately, now that he's walked into my consciousness.