This year’s Edinburgh Award winner has been named by The City of Edinburgh Council as Edinburgh author, Alexander McCall Smith.

The author will receive an engraved Loving Cup from the Lord Provost and have his handprints set in stone at the City Chambers as soon as it can be arranged within the ongoing pandemic restrictions. 

Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, Mr McCall Smith became a hugely successful novelist through his The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective AgencyThe Sunday Philosophy Club and 44 Scotland Street book series, the latter of which is set in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town. 

He is now one of the world’s best-loved writers for both adults and children and his books are published in 47 languages. 

Handprints of a previous Edinburgh Award winner Professor Sir Peter Higgs at the City Chambers Edinburgh

Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “Through his wonderfully charming and engaging writing Alexander McCall Smith has done much to promote Edinburgh across the world. It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce him as the recipient of the 2020 Edinburgh Award.  

“The Edinburgh Award enables citizens to pay a lasting tribute to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to our great city, and Mr McCall Smith has done exactly that through his truly impressive bibliography. He has written and contributed to more than 100 books including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children’s books, becoming one of the best-loved authors in the world. He is a true advocate for Edinburgh through his writing and legal career and is a highly deserving recipient of one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious awards.”

Alexander McCall Smith CBE said: “I am immensely honoured by this award. The people who really deserve it, though, are those who have helped me in my work: the publishers, editors, and bookshop staff who help get the printed word out about this wonderful city.”

Sandy McCall Smith by Doug Vernimmen