"Writers obviously have to bear witness to the harsh face of the age."
"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."Alexander McCall Smith on Mark Twain
"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."Alexander McCall Smith on Henry Ford
"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."Alexander McCall Smith on Mark Twain
"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."Alexander McCall Smith on Kurt Vonnegut
"A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age."Alexander McCall Smith on Robert Frost
"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."
"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."
"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."