It has been a lovely summer so far, so we thought we’d carry on giving you some sunshine with our latest episode of our Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scottish Literature podcast! Kristian and I are doing something a little different this time round, with our episode dedicated to a full-length interview with one of the world’s best-loved authors, Alexander McCall Smith. If you didn’t know, 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the international phenomenon that is The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, the series that brought us the wonderful Precious Ramotswe and her gentle wisdom. The eighteen volumes published so far have become one of the world’s most successful series, with over twenty million copies sold in the English language alone with translations into forty-six languages.
‘Tolerance and humanity underpin the whole of this wonderful, hilarious, totally addictive series’ – Daily Mail
‘The beauty of the land, the people, the colours and smells leap off the page with such warm-hearted liveliness that you find yourself laughing and crying instead of, as so often, hardening your heart against the seeming hopelessness of an entire continent. For an author to entertain and instruct with such effortless simplicity is one thing, but to achieve this effect upon readers is remarkable. I can think of no author save Dickens who has achieved it, and no author now writing currently more deserving of an enormous audience’ – New Statesman
‘Enchanting . . . An inspiration to us all . . . The sweet, chuckling voice of Precious Ramotswe falls gentle on the ear’ – The New York Times Book Review
We talk to Sandy about the inspiration behind the character of Precious Ramotswe, his enduring love for Botswana, and how he feels about the huge success of the series. We also chat about his love for Scottish poetry ahead of the publication of A Gathering: A Personal Anthology of Scottish Poems, a brilliant collection of his favourite Scottish Poems due to be released in September.
So, let’s all raise a cup of redbush tea to Precious and the gang, and hope for another 20 years of delightful adventures.
You can read more titles by Alexander McCall Smith, find out below: