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Alexander McCall Smith 'shows Africa's goodness'

22nd January 2010

Alexander McCall Smith has told India's Jaipur Literature Festival that he does not create an unrealistic portrayal of Africa in his books.

The author admitted that his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series does not focus on the disease, corruption or dictatorship which can be found in some parts of the continent but denied that he is being falsely upbeat, Reuters reported.

'I wanted to show the inherent goodness in Botswana, which is a very well run country, with very little corruption and a wonderful people,' he explained during a discussion of his books.

Smith also claimed that writers are treated unfairly when compared to other artists. He pointed out that authors are expected to dwell on the truth, but painters who ignore the world's problems to make pictures of 'cheerful flowers' often avoid criticism.

The writer is attending the festival with Andrew O'Hagan and William Dalrymple in a bid to boost the profile of Scotland's literary heritage and contemporary writing.

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