Alexander McCall Smith is widely praised and wildly popular author.
Best known for the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, he’s written and contributed to more than 100 books.
But McCall Smith also is a dynamic and engaging public speaker.
“I saw him speak three or four years ago, before I’d read anything by him. He is hands down one of the best speakers I’ve heard — a great storyteller, engaging and funny,” said Davin Diaz, communications and advancement director for Mid-Columbia Libraries.
“The entire Mid-Columbia is going to fall in love with him,” Diaz said.
McCall Smith is speaking Tuesday night in Pasco as part of the library system’s Mid-Columbia Reads.
The literary festival encourages the community to come together around the same book or author “to explore and celebrate the written and spoken word.”
Last year, it focused on Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun.
This year, Mid-Columbia Reads is celebrating McCall Smith and his works. Events have been held throughout October and November, culminating in his talk.
McCall Smith will take the stage at 7 p.m. at the Gjerde Center at Columbia Basin College. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.
McCall Smith will speak about his writing and his life — and he has a lot of interesting material to draw from.
The writer was born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and educated there and in Scotland.
For years, he was a professor of medical law at universities in the United Kingdom and beyond. In 1980, he published his first book, a children’s book called The White Hippo.
Eventually, he dreamed up the character Mma Precious Ramotswe and began spinning tales of her life as a private detective in Botswana.
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series is up to 18 installments and was turned into a TV series starring Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose.
McCall Smith, who goes by “Sandy,” has won numerous awards for his work. He lives in Scotland.
He’ll sign copies of his books Tuesday. Books will be available for purchase.
Friends of Mid-Columbia Libraries, Columbia Basin Badger Club, Tri-Cities Cancer Center and Tri-Cities Community Federal Credit Union are partners in Mid-Columbia Reads.
Diaz said people shouldn’t miss McCall Smith’s presentation.
“With the Tri-Cities’ brand of ‘bigger bolder bright’ — I can’t think of a better program or better author to embody that,” he said.