Over the last week, our beloved author Alexander McCall Smith has received not one, not two but THREE major awards for his writing and wider work.
The first was the 2020/21 Edinburgh Award, presented last week by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh at an in-person reception at the City Chambers. This much respected award honours an outstanding individual who has made a positive impact on the city and gained national and international recognition for Edinburgh. Recipients are nominated by and voted for by the people of the City
‘I am immensely honoured by this award and by the kindness of the city in conferring it on me. I have spent my entire adult life in this city and would not wish to live elsewhere. It is a wonderful city in every respect and I am so proud to be one of its citizens… this award means more to me than any other’Alexander McCall Smith, September 2021
The second was the Strand Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, presented on Tuesday of this week in a virtual award ceremony.
‘I am immensely honored by this award from The Strand Magazine. This is a magazine with a great reputation and a great history, and it is such an honor to be associated with it in this way. I look forward to my continuing association with the splendid cultural institution that is the Strand Magazine’Alexander McCall Smith, October 2021
The Strand Magazine prints previously unpublished works by literary masters such as John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Heller, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, and H.G.Wells as well as new works of fiction by today’s bestselling authors such as Alexander McCall Smith, Michael Connelly, Joseph Finder and Jeffery Deaver.
This year, three Strand Magazine Lifetime Achievement Awards are to be presented: to Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen King, and Joyce Carol Oates.
And the third, A Celebration of a Writing Life and Honorary Fellowship of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival was presented on Wednesday of this week, at a live, in-person event at this year’s Oxford Literary Festival. Previous recipients of the honorary fellowship have been Joanne Harris (2019), Anthony Horowitz (2018), Dame Penelope Lively (2017), Sir Alan Ayckbourn (2016), David Lodge (2015), Jan Morris (2014), Sir Philip Pullman (2013), William Boyd (2012), Sir Kazuo Ishiguro (2011), Dame Antonia Byatt (2010) and Baroness P D James (2009).
The Oxford Literary Festival is one of my favourite festivals. Oxford is just the place to discuss books and the Festival provides the ideal forum for that discussion. I am delighted to have been given this fellowship and I am most grateful tooAlexander McCall Smith, October 2021
A truly remarkable week – for a truly remarkable writer.