Alexander McCall Smith is – in his own words – “one of the biggest literary enterprises in the world”. A former professor of medical law and specialist in bio-ethics, he turned to writing full-time in 1998 when the first in his now immensely successful Botswana series, The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, became a bestseller. He has now sold more than twenty million copies worldwide of this series alone and writes four to five books per year. His other works include the 44 Scotland Street, Isabel Dalhousie, Von Igelfeld and Corduroy Mansions series. His books are translated into forty-six languages, and have particularly popular in Sweden, Singapore and the United States
He is co-founder of an amateur orchestra called The Really Terrible Orchestra. He lives in Edinburgh New Town and is a great fan of pigs, which he breeds, and shoes, which he likes to buy from Belgium.
His is “an old trusty pencil which has been in my desk drawer for quite a while”.
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