Last year, Toronto fans of Alexander McCall Smith were sorely disappointed when a giant cloud of volcanic ash stopped the prolific Scottish novelist from visiting. I’m happy to report that the situation was rectified last night, their frowns finally turned upside down. In fact, he had them downright giggling.
McCall Smith appeared at the Toronto Public Library as part of The Globe and Mail Open House Festival. He was introduced and interviewed by CTV’s Seamus O’Regan. The two are quite close by now, I would imagine: they’ve been together for nearly 2 days filming segments for the myriad of shows Seamus hosts. Plus, they are Twitter friends.
In his most delightful accent, McCall Smith treated readers to an excerpt from his forthcoming 44 Scotland Street novel, The Importance of Being Seven. He warmed up the crowd by introducing Bertie Pollock and his friends. Young Bertie has misplaced his mother, accidentally sending her to Romania in a trunk of unwanted clothes. In the excerpt, Bertie and his friends imagine what might happen to her along the way. By the end of the scene we were all laughing, and McCall Smith was struggling to finish before he began to chuckle himself.