Friday, 1 May 2009

Compass this Sunday night

It is a rare thing to be able to recommend watching ABC TV's Compass program, but this week's program (Sunday, 9.30pm) features author Alexander McCall Smith, most famous for his No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

If you haven't read them, grab them now!

According to Compass' newsletter:

"Zimbabwe-born Alexander McCall Smith is the author of more than 60 books, translated into 42 languages and sold in the millions.

For many years he was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and served on national and international bioethics bodies.

Then in 1999 he achieved global recognition for his award-winning No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and has since devoted his time to the writing of fiction.

“What appealed to us, and why we just had to meet him, is the way he tackles everyday moral dilemmas and changing values, not to mention the importance he places on good manners,” says Geraldine [Doogue].

Alexander McCall Smith was born in what was known as Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. He left to study law in his father’s native Scotland, but he never forgot Africa.

In 1981 he visited Botswana. He was especially impressed by its women, and one in particular who emerged years later as the heroine of his best-selling books, now a TV series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

The central character Mma Precious Ramotswe is no hard bitten gumshoe, but a model of ordinary virtues.

“When I wrote the first book No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency I really didn’t have a conscious or a deliberate agenda. I wasn’t really setting out to do anything in particular other than to tell the story of this woman who lived in Botswana, who had quite an interesting life,” he tells Geraldine."

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