Top 100

Top 350 Alexander McCall Smith Quotes (2024 Update)
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Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The whole point about childhood,” Domenica went on, “is that it affords us a brief moment of innocence and protection from the pressures of the world. Parents who push their children too hard intrude on that little bit of space.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “But we make such mistakes all the time, all through our lives. Wisdom, I suppose, is seeing this and acting upon it before it is too late. But it is often too late, isn’t it? – and those things that we should have said are unsaid, and remain unsaid for ever.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There was a distinction between lying and telling half-truths, but it was a very narrow one.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Why? Why is there a crisis in literature? Because of lies and rottenness. Simplicity and sincerity have been replaced by obsfucation and pretense. Men, of course. They love to create mystery where none exists. It’s the way they think.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I write four books a year. I’m very fortunate that I write quickly; around 3,500 words a day. Being strict about delineating my writing time and personal life, as well as keeping distractions at bay, is the only way I can accomplish this.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “You can’t do much about a personality disorder. Cats are psychopaths at heart.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Men can be teenagers until well into their twenties. That is well known.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “What does it matter, she thought, if businesses are left unattended, if people are not always as we want them to be; we need the time just to be human, to enjoy something like this: a boy chasing ants, a dry land drinking at last, birds in the the sky, a rainbow.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Words that are full of hurt sometimes need to be left in the air where they have been spoken.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Everybody who consulted her was, in their way, hurting – even this rich man with his big Mercedes-Benz and his expensive cuff-links. Human hurt was like lightning; it did not choose its targets, but struck, with rough equality and little regard to position, achievement, or moral desert.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I would certainly never consider myself a Renaissance Man; I’m not fit to look at the dust from the chariot wheels of many of those who have gone before me.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Make a list of what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’d like to know. Make a list of possible outcomes. Choose the outcome you think is best, then go for that!”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She knew that she had a tendency to allow her mind to wander, but surely that’s what made the world interesting. One thought led to another, one memory triggered another. How dull it would be, she thought, not to be reminded of the interconnectedness of everything, how dull for the present not to evoke the past, for here not to imply there.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “You do not have to read a book to understand how the world works. You just have to keep your eyes open.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “A flaky skin was particularly bad if you were a criminal, she had read, as it meant that you left a great deal of DNA at the scene of the crime. That had amused her. That would teach any flaky-skinned housebreakers to burgle people’s houses. “You really need to do something about your skin,” the police might say to such people when they arrested them.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The people with the strong, brave exteriors are just as weak and vulnerable as the rest of us. And of course they never admit to their childish practices, their moments of weakness or absurdity, and then the rest of us think that’s how it should be.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I have three older sisters, so we were a reasonably large family and, in general, a happy one.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She would give him the benefit of the doubt, as she always did: her experience had taught her that the names we gave to others, and the things we accused them of, often said more about us than they did about them.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “As a writer I’ve learned certain lessons. One of them is to be careful about how you put a view, and to bear in mind how easily and readily you’ll be misinterpreted.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Those important brain circuits, the ones that enabled most of us to avoid saying the wrong thing, were simply not there in Martha’s case; or fired in the wrong order; or were short-circuiting. In other words, Martha Drummond was an electrical problem. And understanding people as electrical problems undoubtedly helped one to tolerate them.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Everybody knows, she thought, that we have a skeleton underneath our skin; there’s no reason to show it.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Painters aren’t expected to paint bleak pictures, are they?”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Truth had a way of coming out on top – and it was just as well for everybody that it did. If there ever came a day when truth was so soundly defeated that it never emerged, but sank, instead, under the sheer volume of untruth that the world produced, then that would be a sad day for Botswana, and for the people who lived in Botswana. It would be a sad day for the whole world, that day.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “And that is why we must answer her hatred with love. I can’t say whether it will change her in her heart – it probably won’t. But if it makes her feel even just a little bit better about herself, she will be less envious.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She had a great respect for books herself, and she wished that she had read more. One could never read enough. Never.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “He said: What is patriotism but love of the food one ate as a child?”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Perhaps trust had to be accompanied by a measure of common sense, and a hefty dose of realism about human nature. But that would need a lot of thinking about, and the tea break did not go on forever.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Saying sorry does not make you look small – it makes you look big.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Some people cannot bear news like that. They think they must live forever, and they cry and wail when they realise that their time is coming. I do not feel that, and I did not weep at that news which the doctor gave me. The only thing that makes me sad is that I shall be leaving Africa when I die.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Every small wrong, every minor act of cruelty, every act of petty bullying was symbolic of a greater wrong. And if we ignored these small things, then did it not blunt our outrage over the larger wrongs?”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “That was the trouble with people in general: they were surprisingly unrealistic in their expectations.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Crisis. It was a time of sustained anxiety for anybody who read a newspaper or listened to the news on the radio, and that included his mother, Mrs. Florence Woodhouse, who was anxious at the best of times and even more so at the worst. What was the point of continuing the human race when nuclear self-immolation seemed to be such a real and imminent possibility? That was the question that occurred to Florence as she was admitted to the delivery ward of a small country hospital in Norfolk.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “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 havent read them.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “It was always the best way of finding out information; just go and ask a woman who keeps her eyes and ears open and who likes to talk. It always worked. It was no use asking men; they simply were not interested enough in other people and the ordinary doings of people. That is why the real historians of Africa had always been the grandmothers, who remembered the lineage and the stories that went with it.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We should all busy ourselves in being who we are, although many of us do not and spend so much time and energy being something else. We try to be what others want us to be, or what we ourselves want to be. And then we suddenly realise that our lives have shot past and we have not got round to being who we really.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There are so many things we take in subconsciously and are unaware we ever saw. There is plenty of lumber like that in our minds.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “If you take God out of it, then right and justice become small, human things. And weak things too.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I am easily persuaded to continue to have fun.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “It is the onion, memory, that makes me cry,” he said.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The husband should say to the reverend: ‘And I promise not to defy my wife.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “You are a lucky lady to be marrying a man who can fix things. Most husbands just break things.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We’ve all had that sort of experience,” said Mma Ramotswe. “Every one of us, Mma. We’ve all had a first day at school, or a first day in a new job. We’ve all been unsure what to do.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “No matter what precautions were taken, socks disappeared into a Bermuda Triangle for socks, a swirling vortex that swallowed one sock at a time, leaving its partner stranded.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “When you are with somebody you love the smallest, smallest things can be so important, so amusing because love transforms the world, everything. And was that what had happened?”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She had always believed that people who were nasty or unkind to others were only like that because there was something wrong in their lives, and that people who had something wrong in their lives were not to be despised or hated, but were to be pitied. So.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Writers just play out their fantasies in their books. They are often very unstable, tricky people, Bertie. Writers are usually very bad at real life and feel that they have to create imaginary lives to make up for it.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Some of my characters are a mixture of various aspects of people I have met. others are pure invention.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Auden returns to one of his most important themes – that of repairing the tragic division in our lives, of making us whole again: While, as they lie in the grass of our neglect, So many long-forgotten objects Revealed by his undisclosed shining Are returned to us and made precious again; Games we thought we must drop as we grew up, Little noises we dared not laugh at, Faces we made when no one was looking. But he wishes us more than this.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Myth could be as sustaining as reality – sometimes even more so.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Africa had a way of coming back and simply covering everything up again.”
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