"My wife Elizabeth and I started The Really Terrible Orchestra for people like us who are pretty hopeless musicians who would like to play in an orchestra. It has been a great success. We give performances we've become the most famous bad orchestra in the world."
"Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."Alexander McCall Smith on Andy Warhol
"I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous."Alexander McCall Smith on Walt Disney
"What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous."Alexander McCall Smith on Voltaire
"We all want to be famous people, and the moment we want to be something we are no longer free."Alexander McCall Smith on Jiddu Krishnamurti
"Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable."Alexander McCall Smith on Ambrose Bierce
"Writers obviously have to bear witness to the harsh face of the age."
"I've also long since realized that the way to really engage children is to give out prizes it's amazing how it concentrates their minds."
"It's through the small things that we develop our moral imagination, so that we can understand the sufferings of others."
"But you cannot expect every writer to dwell on human suffering. I think my books do deal with grave issues. People who say they are too positive probably haven't read them."
"I think people in Botswana are pleased that my books paint a positive picture of their lives and portray the country as being very special. They've made a great success of their country, and the people are fed up with the constant reporting of only the problems and poverty of the continent. They welcome something which puts the positive side."