Alexander McCall Smith, an Edinburgh-based author, won a prestigious award


Alexander McCall Smith CBE, an internationally renowned Edinburgh-based author, has been recognized with a prestigious award for his outstanding contribution to the region.

In recognition of his literary success, legal profession and work in academia, the bestselling author of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” has been named as the recipient of this year’s Edinburgh Prize.

McCall Smith is also known for the 44 Scotland Street series and The Sunday Philosophy Club, both set in Edinburgh, and his books are written in 47 languages.

The 14th person to receive the award will be the poet, who is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh.

“He said he was “immensely honoured” by the prize, but emphasized that the publishers, editors and bookstore workers who help spread the printed word about this wonderful city are “those who really deserve it.”

As soon as this can be arranged under the continuing pandemic constraints, the Lord Provost will present him with an engraved Love Cup and have his handprints carved in stone in the City Chambers.

He is now one of the most famous authors for adults and children in the world, publishing his books in 47 languages.

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Ann Budge was the recipient last year. Ian Rankin OBE in 2007 and JK Rowling OBE in 2008 are former writers to earn the prize.

“Lord Provost Frank Ross said, “Alexander McCall Smith has done much to introduce Edinburgh to the world through his beautifully charming and entertaining prose.

So it gives me great pleasure to name him as the 2020 Edinburgh Award winner.

The Edinburgh Award enables people to pay lasting tribute to someone who has made an exceptional contribution to our great city, and through his truly remarkable bibliography, Mr. McCall Smith did just that.

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He has written and co-written over 100 books and has become one of the world’s most beloved writers, including scholarly trade titles, short story collections, and a number of highly popular children’s books.

“Through his writing and legal practice, he is a true champion for Edinburgh and is a highly deserved recipient of one of the most coveted awards in Edinburgh.

The Award was created in 2007 and offers the opportunity for Edinburgh citizens to recognize individuals who have made an exceptional contribution through their contributions to the capital city.

Nominations for the Edinburgh Award are accepted each year from Edinburgh citizens and the decision to present the award is taken by a panel of judges chaired by the Lord Provost and including members from all political parties on the City of Edinburgh Council, the Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.


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