News

Short story published in Good Housekeeping magazine

A new short story by Alexander McCall Smith is published in this month’s Good Housekeeping magazine (August 2015 issue), on sale now. Don’t miss it. Take the chance to read his tale of a trip to Italy and how car hire can have some unexpected twists.

New Scotland Street novel selected as Waterstone’s Book of the Month

The Revolving Door of Life, volume 10 in the 44 Scotland Street series, will be published in August 2015 and has been selected as Waterstones Book of the Month on publication. All 25 Scottish stores will celebrate publication of the 10th anniversary volume with window and in-store displays and some will host events.

Alexander is also appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, in four separate events. For more information, visit the website for the UK’s biggest literary festival.

 

Alexander McCall Smith announces new children’s series

Alexander McCall Smith has announced a new children’s series to be published this October by BC Books, an imprint of his Edinburgh publisher, Birlinn Ltd.

The first book in the new series is The School Ship Tobermory, set in Tobermory Harbour on the island of Mull. Two new pupils arrive by submarine to enrol on HMS Tobermory, a boarding school with a difference. Soon they are drawn into a series of adventures involving mermaids, a high-diving Matron, film crews and wild-life smugglers. Fun, intrigue and more than a hint of danger await.

This is a wonderful adventure, written for 8-12 year olds and it is the first book in a series which will take our young adventurers around the globe.

‘Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party’ wins the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction

Hip hip hooray!

‘The great master of comic fiction wins the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for his brilliantly funny novel Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party’ – Peter Florence, Hay Festival 2015

Everyman’s Library and Champagne Bollinger  announced Alexander McCall Smith as the winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for his superbly irreverent Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party.

This is the first time McCall Smith, the bestselling author of No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and the 44 Scotland Street, has appeared on the comic fiction prize shortlist. This win sees him beating off competition from Caitlin Moran and Irvine Welsh amongst others. He joins an impressive list of previous winners including Edward St Aubyn, Howard Jacobson, Marina Lewycka and the late Sir Terry Pratchett.

Packed with McCall Smith’s trademark wit, Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party is a hilarious and touching portrayal of a kindly and misunderstood soul. Scotland on Sunday has praised the book as an ‘all you can eat platter of humour…once again McCall Smith doles out an appropriately extra-large helping of fun’.

Alexander McCall Smith comments:

‘I am greatly honoured to be awarded the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. I very much enjoyed writing that book and if there are those who are enjoying reading it, then I am content. I am also content with the jeroboam of champagne, the 52 Wodehouse novels, and the pig that go with this award. That is what I would call a very well-balanced prize.’

James Naughtie, one of the judges, comments:

‘It’s right and proper to couple the names of Alexander McCall Smith and P.G.Wodehouse. No writer in recent times has been a more prolific dispenser of wit. He makes people laugh out loud and, like everyone who understands the absurdities of life, he understands sadness too.’

Following in the footsteps of previous winners, Alexander McCall Smith was presented with a locally-bred Gloucestershire Old Spot pig – which will be named after his winning novel – at the Hay Festival on Tuesday 26 May. This is a fitting prize for a man who was once part-owner of a small pig farm on the west coast of Scotland.

Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party will join a long line of curiously named pigs, including Lost for Words, Snuff, A Short History of Tractors in Ukraine, and All Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye. McCall Smith will also be presented with a jeroboam of Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année and the complete Everyman Wodehouse Collection, which as of this year stands at 99 titles.

The 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize shortlist comprised:

Losing It by Helen Lederer (Pan Macmillan)
Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith (Polygon) o How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran (Ebury Publishing)
The Dog by Joseph O’Neill (4th Estate)
Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe (Viking, Penguin)
A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh (Jonathan Cape)

Alexander McCall Smith unveiled a public art wall bearing his words

‘This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.’

The art wall installation at Atria Edinburgh was a key feature of the building’s design at its inception, to celebrate Edinburgh’s strong literary heritage and status as the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. Designed to provide a piece of public art for the city, these thought-provoking words enhance a newly created public space in The Exchange, Edinburgh’s central business district, in a new public thoroughfare named Ladyfield.

The new walkway, which will only be open to pedestrians, connects Morrison Street with Conference Square, and runs between the two office developments Atria One and Two. Alexander McCall Smith commented: ‘I was delighted and honoured to be asked by the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust if my words could be used on this very prominent wall in the heart of the city.

If your words are to be set in stone, then you have to be careful what you say! You have to mean it. And I do mean what I say about this magnificent city, of which I am proud to be a citizen and which will always be my home.’ Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, says: ‘Edinburgh’s City of Literature status is for everyone, and we want the words of our authors to be visible on the streets. We’re delighted to have been involved with choosing this quote and it was a real thrill to see it unveiled today.’

Bertie Goes to the Fringe

The whole world seems to be going Bertie mad!

The whole world seems to be going Bertie mad! Not content with a brand new 44 Scotland Street novel, Bertie Plays the Blues, the World According to Bertie has taken to the stage for this years Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Don’t miss it!

A brand new short story from Alexander

A new short story called Rain

For Easter, New Statesman published a new short story by Alexander called ‘Rain’.

To read the story please click here.