McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and was educated there and in Scotland. He became a law professor in Scotland, and it was in this role that he first returned to Africa to work in Botswana, where he helped to set up a new law school at the University of Botswana. For many years he was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, and has been a visiting professor at a number of other universities elsewhere, including ones in Italy and the United States. He is now a Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh.
In addition to his university work, McCall Smith was for four years the vice-chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the UK, the chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, and a member of the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Crime Writers' Association Dagger in the Library Award; the United Kingdom's Author of The Year Award in 2004 and Sweden's Martin Beck award. In 2007 he was made a CBE for his services to literature in the Queen's New Year Honors List.
Alexander McCall Smith currently lives in Edinburgh with his wife Elizabeth (an Edinburgh doctor), and their two daughters Lucy and Emily. His hobbies include playing wind instruments, and he is the co-founder of an amateur orchestra called "The Really Terrible Orchestra" in which he plays the bassoon and his wife plays the horn.O.K., finally let me tell you a little about the book I just finished, Love Over Scotland. This is the third installment of the 44 Scotland series, which began as a serial in The Scotsman newspaper. This book continues to look at the lives of the main characters of 44 Scotland Street. There's Domenica MacDonald, an anthropologist who has just left for the Malacca Straits to study modern-day pirates. Then, there's Irene and Stuart Pollock and their precocious six-year old Bertie. In addition, there's Pat, Matthew, and Angus Lordie, along with his dog, Cyril. Smith follows the everyday lives of these characters and gives us a glimpse into the life of Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. I have to admit that I wasn't as thrilled with this book as the first two in the series, but it was still really good. If you haven't yet discovered this author, please give him a try. He has much to offer no matter what you're in the mood for.