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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 10:20 GMT
Book goes to print in daily paper
Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith is an award winning author
An author of detective novels has made literary history by publishing his latest book in a daily newspaper.

The Scotsman is printing the novel by Alexander McCall Smith, creator of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

The book, 44 Scotland Street, explores the lives of a group of people living in the New Town area of Edinburgh.

Many Victorian novelists serialised their work in papers on a weekly basis, but it is thought this is the first to appear on a daily basis.

The book will appear in the Edinburgh-based broadsheet five days a week in 850-word instalments over the next six months.

Its characters include a gap year student, a narcissistic surveyor, a freelance anthropologist and a furniture-maker.

Scotsman
The paper began serialising the novel on Monday
The publishing of McCall Smith's work in a newspaper echoes the practice of novelists including Charles Dickens, William Thackery and Wilkie Collins.

McCall Smith is best known for his novels featuring Botswanan private detective Precious Ramotswe, which Holywood is planning to bring to the big screen.

Worldwide sales of the books - which count US First Lady Laura Bush as a fan - recently soared past the three million mark.

The series by the Professor of Medical Law at Edinburgh University was first published in 1988 by publishing minnow Polygon after being rejected by Canongate.

The 55-year-old lecturer was born in Zimbabwe and went to school in Bulawayo, near the Botswana border, before moving to Scotland to study.




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Pauline Maclean reports
"Dickens, George Eliot and Thackeray were all well-known serial novelists."



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