He later taught law at the University of Botswana, then became a professor of medical law in Edinburgh.
, and the many sequels that followed, were inspired by life in Botswana, particularly a colourful character whom Mc Call Smith once observed catching a chicken: ‘She had great style and panache and a wonderful smile […] Botswana is full of people like that, nice and admirable people’ (The, 6 October 2004; article by Sarah Lyall).
It became the first of a series of novels which have since become extremely popular worldwide, and have been translated into many languages. Mc Call Smith’s fiction has been inspired by his geographical background and his academic work in law, medicine and ethics.
He was born to a Scottish family in the country then known as Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Mc Call Smith continues to add regularly to his (2008).
La (short for Lavender), emotionally wounded from a broken marriage, moves to a country village just as World War II breaks out.
His books include many specialist titles, for example, , a novel about Precious Ramotswe, an amateur sleuth turned professional detective in Botswana.
He writes in a clear, uncomplicated prose, yet his work is nonetheless insightful and perceptive.
His humour is dry, charming and kind-hearted, revealing an author who is keenly observant without a trace of maliciousness.
Isabel’s lifestyle is very different to that of Mme Ramotswe, but they share a similar sense of humour, along with a common-sense approach to right and wrong and a belief in manners and common decency.
Isabel is continually debating with her own conscience - for instance, she feels guilty for reading celebrity gossip - and it is through this character that Mc Call Smith explores his fascination with everyday moral dilemmas: 'I’m quite intrigued by how modern philosophers who are engaging with the world answer the question of how we should live.