Alexander McCall Smith, author of the best selling book "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" will speak at UMD at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 25, 2006 in the UMD Kirby Student Center Ballroom. The event is sponsored by the UMD Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies as part of its International Lecture Series. The event is free and the public is cordially invited.
McCall Smith's talk, "The Very Small Things of Life," will deal with the international and cultural aspects of his popular book series, which is set in Botswana. His books capture the pace and wisdom of a traditional culture as it adapts to new and modern circumstances. His lecture will illustrate the situation of Botswana, with its successful democracy, economic stability, minimal corruption, and reputation for facing the AIDS crisis.
All while other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa are experiencing civil war, disease and unpredictable violence. McCall Smith will share how he uses his main character, Mma Ramotswe, who faces life's problems with a cup of tea in her hand, to help his readers understand the values and struggles of ordinary Botswanan citizens. McCall Smith has constructed a positive image of life in Botswana, while not ducking the issues of inter-personal conflict, adultery, murder, AIDS and social change. He creates a sensitive view of the culture that challenges the negative images that many hold about African life and African society.
McCall Smith has written more than 50 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books. But he is best known for his internationally acclaimed "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series--now with six books in the series and four million copies in print in the U.S. alone. The first installment, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency", received two Booker Judge's Special Recommendations and received The Saga Wit Award.