Author Alexander McCall Smith was honoured at the City Chambers with The Edinburgh Award on Tuesday night.

Alexander McCall Smith at the City Chambers

At a ceremony where he was accompanied by family and friends, the man behind the Ma Ramotswe books received the engraved Loving Cup from the Rt Hon Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Frank Ross.

McCall Smith said: “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.”

The Lord Provost said:”It’s an honour and a pleasure to present one of the Capital’s most prestigious accolades, the Edinburgh Award, to Alexander McCall Smith. His bestselling novels continue to draw positive, worldwide attention to the city and I’m delighted that fans of his work can now enjoy seeing his handprints immortalised in stone on our very own Edinburgh Award ‘walk of fame’.”

The Edinburgh Award, first presented to fellow city author Ian Rankin in 2007, celebrates Mr McCall Smith’s bestselling writing, legal career and academic work. It is decided by public vote.

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 Agency, The 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.

Mr McCall Smith is the 14th person to receive the award, succeeding last year’s recipient Ann Budge (2019) and fellow writers Ian Rankin OBE (2007) and JK Rowling OBE (2008), as well as fellow academics Professor Peter Higgs (2011) and Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea (2017). Dame Elizabeth Blackadder who died recently was also honoured with the award.

Alexander McCall Smith at the City Chambers
The author’s handprints will join those of previous recipients in the quad at the City Chambers