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Alexander McCall Smith
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Sue MacGregor

My Life in Music and Books

Alexander McCall Smith Interviewed by Sue MacGregor

Friday, 13 October 2017

2:00pm

1 hour

Blenheim Palace: The Orangery

£6 - £12

One of the most prolific and popular writers of modern times Alexander McCall Smith talks with broadcaster Sue Macgregor about the music and books that have influenced his life and career. McCall Smith will select some music to be played and some of his favourite passages will be read by actor Paul Ansdell.

McCall Smith worked for many years as a professor of medical law before turning his hand to writing. Publication of his The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series turned him into a household name and allowed him to devote his time to writing. The series has sold more than 20 million copies in English alone, and his books have been translated into 46 languages and have topped bestseller lists around the globe. He is also author of the popular 44 Scotland Street novels, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the von Igfeld series and other standalone novels and works of non-fiction.

The sheer volume of his work – four or five new books a year – makes McCall Smith stand out, as does the dry humour and gentle humanity the books contain. His latest works include Chance Developments, a series of short stories imagined from five chanced-upon black-and-white photographs, School Ship Tobermory, the latest in a series for children, and My Italian Bulldozer, a standalone novel about one man’s travels in the Italian countryside.

MacGregor is best known for her work presenting Woman’s Hour and the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. She is currently presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Reunion, a series that unites a group of people intimately involved in a moment of history. Ansdell is an actor known for appearances in Messiah 2: Vengeance Is Mine, Queen & Country and Dream.

Biography & Memoir

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock
 

Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film & Music 2018 partners & sponsors

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock