Novelist to discuss career transition on 'Conversations'

April 29, 2011

While many people might not see the connection between a medical law expert and a novelist, Alexander McCall Smith seems to have found a common interest. His acclaimed books as well as his work in law involve critical thinking, problem solving and an insightful approach to justice. He’ll discuss his books and the transition from law to literature in the next episode of “Conversations from Penn State.”

“Lawyers actually are very interested in human interaction and so that fits quite naturally with the business of being a novelist,” McCall Smith said. “I think that it is compatible.”

After many successful years as a medical law professor, McCall Smith entered a literary competition that ultimately led to his career as a best-selling author. His “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series teaches about the power of forgiveness and the richness of life in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Conversations from Penn State” is a series hosted by veteran interviewer Patty Satalia. The program offers thoughtful, in-depth exchanges with a broad range of remarkable people. In many cases, their trailblazing work has advanced their field and drawn national and worldwide attention.

The show will air at 9 p.m. Thursday, May 5 and 6 p.m. Sunday, May 8 on WPSU-TV. It also will air at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 30 on the Big Ten Network.

Alexander McCall Smith has written more than 60 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books. He is best known for his internationally acclaimed “No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency” series, which rapidly rose to the top of bestseller lists throughout the world. McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and was educated there and in Scotland. He became a law professor in Scotland, and is now a professor emeritus at the University of Edinburgh.

The show also can be viewed at online.

For more than 20 years, Patty Satalia has engaged dynamic individuals from all walks of life and areas of expertise. No matter the guest, Satalia approaches each conversation with the same dedication to research and with a passion for helping people share their stories and insights with the world.


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    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Christine O'Brien

Last Updated May 02, 2011