Alexander McCall Smith scoops major Award

Date Published: 10th May 2017

Alexander McCall Smith — writer and creator of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency — has received a major award, (9 May 2017).

The President, The Board of Governors, and The Literary Arts Committee of  The National Arts Club of America presented The Medal of Honor for Achievement in Literature to Alexander McCall Smith at an Award Ceremony last night. The event was held  at the home of The National Arts Club in New York City. Alexander is thrilled that his work has been recognised with such a prestigious award.

Alexander commented,I am honoured and delighted to receive this award. I have always very much valued my American readers and I am very touched that the National Arts Club has accorded me this honour.”

Past recipients of this award include most of the major literary figures of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since 1968, recipients have included:

1968 Louis Auchincloss

1969 WH Auden

1970 SJ Perelman

1971 Ada Louise Huxtable

1972 Norman Cousins

1973 Anthony Burgess

1974 Eudora Welty

1975 Tennessee Williams

1976 Norman Mailer

1978 Saul Bellow

1979 Allen Ginsberg

1980 Isaac Bashevis Singer

1981 Leon Edel

1982 Barbara Tuchman

1983 James Laughlin

1984 John Updike

1985 Joseph Campbell

1986 Marguerite Yourcenar

1987 Robertson Davies

1988 Carlos Fuentes

1989 James Merrill

1990 Iris Murdoch

1991 Philip Roth

1992 Arthur Miller


1993 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

1994 Richard Wilbur

1995 William Styron

1996 E.L. Doctorow

1997 Margaret Atwood

1998 Grace Paley

1999 Toni Morrison

2000 Nadine Gordimer

2001 Tom Wolfe

2002 Edna O’Brien

2003 Sir Tom Stoppard

2004 Shirley Hazzard

2005 Alice Munro

2006 P.D. James

2007 Chinua Achebe

2008 Don DeLillo

2009 Joyce Carol Oates

2010 David McCullough

2011 Edward Albee

2012 Martin Amis

2013 Salman Rushdie

2014 John Ashbery

2015 Paul Auster

2016 Jane Smiley

The National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by author and poet Charles De Kay, the literary and art critic for The New York Times. He together with a group of distinguished artists and patrons conceived of a gathering place to welcome artists of all genres as well as art lovers and patrons. At the turn of the 20th century American artists began to look to their own country rather than to Europe for inspiration, and the American art world was alive with energy. The newly-formed National Arts Club took residence in a mansion on 34th Street. American art had a new home. The National Arts Club continues its tradition of inclusivity by welcoming all artists. The mission of The National Arts Club is to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts.

Edinburgh based writer, Alexander McCall Smith is best known for his No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series of books, set in Botswana. More than 20 million copies of these books have been sold in English language editions and the books have been translated into 46 languages around the world. There have been screen and radio adaptations of this much loved series as well as stage plays. In addition, Alexander has written the much loved 44 Scotland Street series set in Edinburgh. This series appears first in daily chunks in the Scotsman newspaper before being gathered into book editions. This is now the longest serial novel in the world. Alexander also writes the Isabel Dalhousie series, two popular children’s series and a number of stand alone and non-fiction titles.