What W. H. Auden Can Do for You

Princeton University Press
8
Free sample

When facing a moral dilemma, Isabel Dalhousie--Edinburgh philosopher, amateur detective, and title character of a series of novels by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith--often refers to the great twentieth-century poet W. H. Auden. This is no accident: McCall Smith has long been fascinated by Auden. Indeed, the novelist, best known for his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, calls the poet not only the greatest literary discovery of his life but also the best of guides on how to live. In this book, McCall Smith has written a charming personal account about what Auden has done for him--and what he just might do for you.

Part self-portrait, part literary appreciation, the book tells how McCall Smith first came across the poet's work in the 1970s, while teaching law in Belfast, a violently divided city where Auden's "September 1, 1939," a poem about the outbreak of World War II, strongly resonated. McCall Smith goes on to reveal how his life has related to and been inspired by other Auden poems ever since. For example, he describes how he has found an invaluable reflection on life's transience in "As I Walked Out One Evening," while "The More Loving One" has provided an instructive meditation on unrequited love. McCall Smith shows how Auden can speak to us throughout life, suggesting how, despite difficulties and change, we can celebrate understanding, acceptance, and love for others.


An enchanting story about how art can help us live, this book will appeal to McCall Smith's fans and anyone curious about Auden.

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About the author

Alexander McCall Smith is the internationally best-selling author of numerous novels, including the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Formerly a professor of medical law, he now devotes himself to writing. He lives in Scotland.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Sep 22, 2013
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Pages
152
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ISBN
9781400847976
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Literary Collections / Essays
Literary Criticism / Poetry
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Experience a new history of Scotland told through its places. Writers Kathleen Jamie, Alexander McCall Smith, Alistair Moffat, James Robertson and James Crawford pick twenty-five buildings to tell the story of the nation.

Travelling across the country, from abandoned islands and lonely glens to the heart of our modern cities, these five authors seek out the diverse narrative of the Scottish people. Follow Kathleen Jamie as she searches for the traces of our first family hearths in the Cairngorms and makes a midsummer journey to Shetland to meet the unlikely new inhabitants of an Iron Age broch. Tour the wondrous and macabre Surgeons’ Hall with Alexander McCall Smith, or walk with him over sacred ground to Iona’s ancient Abbey. Join Alistair Moffat as he discovers a lost whisky village in the wilds of Strathconon, and climbs up through the vertiginous layers of history in Edinburgh Castle. Accompany James Robertson as he goes from the standing stones of Callanish to the humble cottage of Hugh MacDiarmid – via the engineering colossus of the Forth Rail Bridge. And journey with James Crawford from a packed crowd in Hampden Park, to an off-the-grid eco-bothy on the Isle of Eigg.


Who Built Scotland is a landmark exploration of Scotland’s social, political and cultural histories. Moving from Neolithic families, exiled hermits and ambitious royal dynasties to highland shieling girls, peasant poets, Enlightenment philosophers and iconoclastic artists, it places our people, our ideas and our passions at the heart of our architecture and archaeology. This is the remarkable story how we have shaped our buildings and how our buildings, in turn, have shaped us.

THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 13

Fans around the world adore the best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.
 
Precious Ramotswe is haunted by a repeated dream: a vision of a tall, strange man who waits for her beneath an acacia tree. Odd as this is, she’s far too busy to worry about it. The best apprentice at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors is in trouble with the law and stuck with the worst lawyer in Gaborone. Grace Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti are building the house of their dreams, but their builder is not completely on the up and up. And, most shockingly, Mma Potokwane, defender of Botswana’s weak and downtrodden, has been dismissed from her post as matron at the orphan farm. Can the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency help restore the beloved matron to her rightful position?
 
As wealthy and powerful influences at the orphan farm become allied against their friend, help arrives from an unexpected visitor: the tall stranger from Mma Ramotswe’s dreams, who turns out to be none other than the estimable Clovis Andersen, author of the No. 1 Ladies’ prized manual, The Principles of Private Detection. Together, Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, and their teacher-turned-colleague help right this injustice and in the process discover something new about being a good detective.


BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Alexander McCall Smith's The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon.  
Modern ideas get tangled up with traditional ones in the latest intriguing installment in the beloved, best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.
 
Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. First she is approached by the lawyer Mma Sheba, who is the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate. Mma Sheba has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward may be falsely impersonating the farmer’s nephew in order to claim his inheritance. Mma Ramotswe agrees to visit the farm and find out what she can about the self-professed nephew. Then the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon comes to Mma Ramotswe for advice. The opening of her new salon has been shadowed by misfortune. Not only has she received a bad omen in the mail, but rumors are swirling that the salon is using dangerous products that burn people’s skin. Could someone be trying to put the salon out of business?
 
Meanwhile, at the office, Mma Ramotswe has noticed something different about Grace Makutsi lately. Though Mma Makutsi has mentioned nothing, it has become clear that she is pregnant . . . But in Botswana—a land where family has always been held above all else—this may be cause for controversy as well as celebration.
 
With genuine warmth, sympathy, and wit, Alexander McCall Smith explores some tough questions about married life, parenthood, grief, and the importance of the traditions that shape and guide our lives.
 
This is the fourteenth installment in the series.


This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.  
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