Total found: 49
Alexander McCall Smith
Writers obviously have to bear witness to the harsh face of the age.
Alexander McCall Smith
I've also long since realized that the way to really engage children is to give out prizes it's amazing how it concentrates their minds.
Alexander McCall Smith
My wife Elizabeth and I started The Really Terrible Orchestra for people like us who are pretty hopeless musicians who would like to play in an orchestra. It has been a great success. We give performances we've become the most famous bad orchestra in the world.
Alexander McCall Smith
It's through the small things that we develop our moral imagination, so that we can understand the sufferings of others.
Alexander McCall Smith
But you cannot expect every writer to dwell on human suffering. I think my books do deal with grave issues. People who say they are too positive probably haven't read them.
Alexander McCall Smith
I think people in Botswana are pleased that my books paint a positive picture of their lives and portray the country as being very special. They've made a great success of their country, and the people are fed up with the constant reporting of only the problems and poverty of the continent. They welcome something which puts the positive side.
Alexander McCall Smith
My Botswana books are positive, and I've never really sought to deny that. They are positive. They present a very positive picture of the country. And I think that that is perfectly defensible given that there is so much written about Africa which is entirely negative.
Alexander McCall Smith
One of the most destructive things that's happening in modern society is that we are losing our sense of the bonds that bind people together - which can lead to nightmares of social collapse.
Alexander McCall Smith
Manners are the basic building blocks of civil society.
Alexander McCall Smith
It seems to me that we're in danger of losing sight of certain basic civic values in society by allowing the growth of a whole generation of people who really have no sense of attachment to society.
Alexander McCall Smith
My wife Elizabeth and I started The Really Terrible Orchestra for people like us who are pretty hopeless musicians who would like to play in an orchestra. It has been a great success. We give performances we've become the most famous bad orchestra in the world.
Alexander McCall Smith
I think people in Botswana are pleased that my books paint a positive picture of their lives and portray the country as being very special. They've made a great success of their country, and the people are fed up with the constant reporting of only the problems and poverty of the continent. They welcome something which puts the positive side.
Alexander McCall Smith
Oh I love gadgets and I pride myself on keeping at the cutting edge of technology.
Alexander McCall Smith
Regular maps have few surprises: their contour lines reveal where the Andes are, and are reasonably clear. More precious, though, are the unpublished maps we make ourselves, of our city, our place, our daily world, our life; those maps of our private world we use every day; here I was happy, in that place I left my coat behind after a party, that is where I met my love; I cried there once, I was heartsore; but felt better round the corner once I saw the hills of Fife across the Forth, things of that sort, our personal memories, that make the private tapestry of our lives.
Alexander McCall Smith
It was time to take the pumpkin out of the pot and eat it. In the final analysis, that was what solved these big problems of life. You could think and think and get nowhere, but you still had to eat your pumpkin. That brought you down to earth. That gave you a reason for going on. Pumpkin.
Alexander McCall Smith
There was a distinction between lying and telling half-truths, but it was a very narrow one.
Alexander McCall Smith
She had argued for a broad interpretation, which imposed a duty to answer questions truthfully, and not to hide facts which could give a different complexion to a matter, but on subsequent thought she had revised her position.Although she still believed that one should be frank in answers to questions, this duty arose only where there was an obligation, based on a reasonable expectation, to make a full disclosure. There was no duty to reveal everything in response to a casual question by one who had no right to the information.
Alexander McCall Smith
No plaque reminds the passer-by of these glories, although there should be one; for those who invent biscuits bring great pleasure to many.
Alexander McCall Smith
Go to any small village anywhere in the world, and see what they remember. Everything. It's all there -- passed on like a precious piece of information, some secret imparted from one who knew to one who yearns to know. Taken good care of.
Alexander McCall Smith
It is sometimes easier to be happy if you don't know everything.
Alexander McCall Smith
Do you realise that people die of boredom in London suburbs? It's the second biggest cause of death amongs the English in general. Sheer boredom...
Alexander McCall Smith
Now constipation was quite a different matter...It would be dreadful for the whole world to know about troubles of that nature. She felt terribly sorry for people who suffered from constipation, and she knew that there were many who did. There were probably enough of them for a political party - with a chance of government perhaps - but what would such a party do if it was in power? Nothing, she imagined. It would try to pass legislation, but would fail. (p, 195)
Alexander McCall Smith
That, incidentally, gives me the greatest possible pleasure
Alexander McCall Smith
Moral beauty existed as clearly as any other form of beauty and perhaps that was where we could find the God who was so vividly, and sometimes bizarrely, described in our noisy religious explanations. It was an intriguing thought, as it meant that a concert could be a spiritual experience, a secular painting a religious icon, a beguiling face a passing angel.
Alexander McCall Smith
He smiled as he imagined the composite Jamie/Isabel, who would play the bassoon, read philosophy, interfere in other people's affairs rather too much, drive a green Swedish car and make legendary potatoes Dauphinoise.
Alexander McCall Smith
She had never been able to tolerate dishonesty, which she thought threatened the very heart of relationships between people. If you could not count on other people to mean what they said, or to do what they said they would do, then life could become utterly unpredictable. The fact that we could trust one another made it possible to undertake the simple tasks of life.
Alexander McCall Smith
Mma Ramotswe tucked the cheque safely away in her bodice. Modern business methods were all very well, she thought, but when it came to the safeguarding of money there were some places which had yet to be bettered.
Alexander McCall Smith
Surely it is better, thought Domenica, that forty-five should buy the book and actually read it, than should many thousands, indeed millions, buy it and put it on their shelves, like...Professor Hawking's Brief History of Time. That was a book that had been bought by millions, but had been demonstrated to have been read by only a minute proportion of those who had acquired it. For do we not all have a copy of that on our shelves, and who amongst us can claim to have read beyond the first page, in spite of the pellucid prose of its author and his evident desire to share with us his knowledge of...of whatever it is that the book is about?
Alexander McCall Smith
Isabel is looking at several collections of research journals. 'She would understand the issues if she chose to open one of the volumes, but she knew that there were conversations within which she would never have the time to participate in. And that, of course, was the problem with any large collection of books, whether in a library or a bookshop: one might feel intimidated by the fact that there was simply too many to read and not know where to start.
Alexander McCall Smith
..what moved me was that I had found something I didn't think could exist. And that thing - the thing that I found - was very simple. Most people know all about it and have never really doubted it because their lives have been such as to give them a glimpse of the thing that they were not sure about, which is love, of course: the sheer fact of feeling of love for another, of finding the one person - the only person, it seems - who makes the world make sense. It's like discovering the map that you've been looking for all your life and have never been able to find - the map that makes sense of the journey.
Alexander McCall Smith
You can go through life and make new friends every year - every month practically - but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.
Alexander McCall Smith
That, incidentally, gives me the greatest possible pleasure
Alexander McCall Smith
So it was perfectly possible that there were men who liked shopping, men who understood exactly what it was all about, but Mma Ramotwe had yet to meet such a man. Maybe they existed elsewhere - in France, perhaps - but they did not seem to be much in evidence in Botswana.
Alexander McCall Smith
Has anyone sen Mr Snark I saw him in the tunnel about 15 minutes ago. Oh no wailed Dr Ferman he will have been atomised. Oh dear muttered an MP. Bye-election.
Alexander McCall Smith
For a short while she considered the idea of orchestral courtesy. Certainly one should avoid giving political offence: German orchestras, of course, used to be careful about playing Wagner abroad, at least in some countries, choosing instead German composers who were somewhat more ... apologetic.
Alexander McCall Smith
Sociopaths are attracted to politics because the see it as a sphere in which you can be ruthless and step all over people. That fact that some politicians can tell such awful lies is another example of sociopathy. Sociopaths lie
Alexander McCall Smith
We all know that it is women who take the decisions, but we have to let men think that the decisions are theirs. It is an act of kindness on the part of women.
Alexander McCall Smith
We shall change all that...because it is possible to change the world, if one is determined enough, and if one sees with sufficient clarity just what has to be changed.
Alexander McCall Smith
She was proud of her build, which was in accordance with the old Botswana ideas of beauty, and she would not pander to the modern idea of slenderness. That was an importation from elsewhere, and it was simply wrong. How could a very thin woman do all the things that women needed to do: to carry children on their backs, to pound maize into flour out at the lands or the cattle post, to cart around the things of the household
Alexander McCall Smith
That was what counted, she told herself: those unexpected moments of appreciation, unanticipated glimpses of beauty or kindness - any of the things that attached us to this world, that made us forget, even for a moment, its pain and its transience.
Alexander McCall Smith
Mr. J.L.B Matekoni, she asked, do you think that our souls grow as we get older?He did not answer immediately, but when he did, she thought his answer quite perfect. Yes, he said. Our souls get wider. They grow like the branches of a tree--growing outwards. And more birds come and make their homes in these branches. And sing a bit more. He stopped and looked a little awkward. I'm talking nonsense, Mma.You're not, she said.
Alexander McCall Smith
Mr Mandela, who had given his whole life for justice and had never once thought of himself. How unlike these people were modern politicians, who thought only of power and tricks.
Alexander McCall Smith
That, incidentally, gives me the greatest possible pleasure
Alexander McCall Smith
Human history seems to me to be one long story of people sweeping down
Alexander McCall Smith
The ordinary people of Africa tended not to have room in their hearts for hatred. They were sometimes foolish, like people anywhere, but they did not bear grudges, as Mr Mandela had shown the world.
Alexander McCall Smith
The problem, of course, was that people did not seem to understand the difference between right and wrong. They needed to be reminded about this, because if you left it to them to work out for themselves, they would never bother. They would just find out what was best for them, and then they would call that the right thing.
Alexander McCall Smith
She hoped that her baby was happy and would be waiting for her when she herself left Botswana and went to heaven. Would Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni get round to naming a wedding date before then? She hoped so, although he certainly seemed to be taking his time. Perhaps they could get married in heaven, if he left it too late. That would certainly be cheaper.
Alexander McCall Smith
If she was going to remain an engaged lady, then she would make the most of it, and one of the ways to do this would be to enjoy her free time.
Alexander McCall Smith
He evidently did not care that they were in full view of a cluster of dog-owners walking their dogs. He stopped and took her in his arms, kissing her passionately and urgently.