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Author Topic: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency  (Read 6592 times)
jannah
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« on: May 07, 2008 01:21 AM »


The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith

Loveeeeeeeeed it. Read the first one and just kept going. I think I'm almost done with the third one now.

For those who don't know, the story is set in Botswana Africa and it's of a woman who sets up a detective agency and the ups and downs of her life, the ppl around her and the cases. The writing is very simple and the stories are cute and uplifting and downright feminist. I can't believe it's written by a man? Sometimes I really have to wonder Smiley

Anyways if you get a chance read the first one at least. thumbsup from me

 bebzi
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008 12:16 PM »

salam

I've read them all, I'm just waiting for the latest to come out in paperback, they're really good arent they??

I found the perspective very good too, one cant tell they're written by a man as they're written from a female perspective I love the humour.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008 05:16 PM »

ws,

How many are there? I read 3 so far. I didn't see that many more at the library?
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008 05:34 PM »

salam

nine I think,

The number one ladies detective agency
Tears of the giraffe
Morality for beautiful girls
The kalahari typing school for men
The full cupboard of life
In the company of cheerful ladies
blue Shoes and happiness
The good husband of zebra drive
Miracle at speedy motors



Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 10, 2009 12:31 AM »

So cute Smiley Anyone seen the HBO series yet? I saw a few and it kind of changes how you think of things... but interesting nevertheless Smiley -- J.

=======================

Detective agency series puts Botswana on tourist map

GABORONE (AFP) – At the foot of Kgale Hill, the sudden appearance of new shops caused a bit of a buzz as bemused locals seeking to book a haircut or buy beer found themselves turned away from a film set.

This was not a new mall, but Botswana's very own "Kgalewood" where the successful No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels were turned into a television series that has introduced the tiny African country to a whole new audience.

As a stable, uneventful African state, Botswana is little known beyond diamond buffs who recognise it as the world's largest producer of the gem, and wealthy wildlife-chasers who can afford its high-end safaris.

However the success of the books, and the series screened on Britain's BBC, America's HBO and MNET in South Africa has generated huge interest in the nation, which itself has woken up to the potential of a bigger film industry.

Where tourists used to be "your average middle-aged female American", Tim Race of Africa Insight tours says more younger people and families are delighted to see landmarks made famous in the novel.

Race said the book is now compulsory reading for diplomats coming on mission to the US Embassy to get a sense of the country, and is slowly making its way into schools as a set work novel.

"I think the books have put Botswana into people's consciousness more. Having it on TV has expanded the audience for the books," says Race who runs the "only tour endorsed by Alexander McCall Smith," the author of the novels.

Benson Phuthego, a strategy manager at First National Bank and part-time television newsreader in the capital Gaborone, got his break in the short role of a "charismatic MC".

"It was a short role, but the impact was huge... in terms of promoting the country," says Phuthego of the series, starring Grammy award-winning singer Jill Scott as lady detective Precious Ramotswa.

"People will ask 'where is Botswana, what is this Botswana?'. They will learn it is the country that is the biggest producer of quality diamonds in the whole world. Fact," he said proudly.

"It has got wonders in terms of tourism... our democracy is a signature democracy."

Using mainly locals as extras in the series has also boosted the local film industry, which government is hoping to promote further.

Producer Robert Dargie, originally from Uganda, is already busy on his own film project, and plans to release short films on Botswana, for locals and neighbouring South Africa.

"To be frank that film has impacted a lot in this place. We have been inspired by it coming to Botswana," said Dargie, who used to record music videos, never dreaming of that "filming can be a good business here."

McCall Smith, inspired by the people of Botswana to set his novel in the country, told AFP in an interview he was working on the 11th book, due for release in March.

"Botswana has a lot to offer as a country and the world has to know that. In my previous novels Mma Ramotswe only has cases in and around Gaborone and in my next novel she will go as far as Maun (in northern Botswana) to investigate a case which means that the readers also go with her."

With its main income from diamonds expected to run out in 20 years, Botswana is eagerly venturing into different fields to diversify its economy.

According to Phutego, Ramotswa and her detective agency have provided a big stepping stone for the country.

"For the locals who have studied film, this is the time for them to know that they really can do something and write the stories and put them on the screen for the international community to appreciate."
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 10, 2009 06:42 AM »

Salam alaikum

Oh I loved the first book (only one i managed to get  my hands on)...and then the series started, and altho some things definitely looked different in my mind, it was an interesting take on things in the film episodes... i really really enjoy it!

I just think how weird it must be for an american or british person to watch it?? So so many things (in the films especially) are so *African*, and I think you need to live here to understand? even just some of the mannerisms? Do you guys find theres stuff you dont really get sometimes?

will read the other books as soon as I find them...in the meantime, the series is being rebroadcast on our satellite channels, so "eeehhh botswaaaanaaaa" Wink

Salam
S.
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 11, 2009 07:35 AM »

wsalam,

i think that's what makes the books so fascinating for the rest of us outside of Africa. it's like a window into a little piece of Africa!! i love all the local flavor... the slow pace of life, the reality of life there. i like that there's no overt violence/sex/etc, that it's from an indep. older woman's point of view (even tho written by a man!). they are nice happy books. and also... i really want to try bush tea one day and still can't figure out how to pronounce mma. lol i thought it was 'mademoiselle' all this time hehe so far read all TEN of the books and can't wait for the next one! reader

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« Reply #7 on: Nov 11, 2009 09:23 AM »

salam

In my head Mma is pronounced ma (is that wrong?).

I refuse to watch the TV series, it will utterly ruin it for me.

It's the gentleness of the books that appeal to me, there's an innocence to them, which I think is very rare in real life (well my real life anyway) which draws me in and holds my attention.

My friends and I wait for the books to come out, we take turns buying them and everyone reads them. We get ridiculously excited at the first glimpse of the new book in the shop windows....(I need to get a life I know).


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 10, 2009 05:11 PM »

It's interesting you say that Fozia, I think in my head I always pronounce Mma as (mumaa) almost...don't ask me why lol.  Perhaps one of our African sisters could tell us the correct way?

These books are such beautiful pieces of writing and there is such an innocence about them, which is very rare to find in so many books now. 

The author has also written other series' see here http://www.alexandermccallsmith.co.uk/Pages/books.aspx.  Has anyone read any of them?
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 11, 2009 12:11 PM »

Salam Smiley

Mma...ok here's pronunciation 101  Wink 

Say mmm, like mm, thats yummyyy...then add a short ah, like the "u" in up.  Voila, mma.

Now who's ready to try saying rre? (the male version of mma)  Grin

I really enjoyed the first book and will be reading the rest over the holidays...inshaAllah.  Oooh, holiday, here I come!!! today's my last day at work for this year!

OK, enjoy...and Jannah, when you visit me, the first drink I will give you is bush tea!  Smiley

Salam
S.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 11, 2009 11:08 PM »

ws,

I've read the other series.. the Isabella Dallhousie? something one.. I read I think two of the books, they're OK but kind of dry and filled with philosophy stuff and i just couldn't relate to the protagonist. The other one 'something street' I couldn't get past the first 10 pages. Such a difference in subject matter!

Anyone else have any other recommendations on a series of books? Something without killing/rape/overtly sexual stuff/ and not with dark endings, but not a romance either. Hard to find eh...

I like to think of mma as mademoiselle...brings me back to my high school french Wink
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 22, 2011 06:45 AM »

ws,

just had to express my appreciation for these books again!!! just read the latest one..The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party...so amazing. they're just so simple yet full of thoughts u know  and how on earth did a guy write this Huh? yeah i didn't make sense... anyway yayy for the 12th book!!

here's an excerpt that I just found so beautiful...

SPOILER!! Don't read if u haven't read the last book yet...


She went out into the garden. The sun had set, but there was still a faint glow in the west, above the Kalahari -- enough to provide that half-light that makes everything seem so rounded, so perfect. She stood in her garden and looked about her. Against the gradually darkening sky, the branches of the trees traced a pattern of twigs and leaves -- a pattern of such intricacy and delicacy that those standing below might look up and wonder why the world can be so beautiful and yet break the heart.

She stood still for awhile, thinking about marriage. A wedding was a strange ceremony, she thought, with all those formal words, those solemn vows made by one to another, whereas the real question that should be put to the two people involved was a very simple one. Are you happy with each other? was the only question that should be asked; to which they both should reply preferably in unison, Yes. Simple questions -- and simple answers-- were what we needed in life. That was what Mma Ramotswe believed. Yes.

She went back into the house, as night had come over the town, the sky suddenly going from deep blue into black -- and stars had appeared over Africa. She gave one last glance towards the horizon, to check whether the Southern Cross was where it should be. It was.



sigh red bush tea anyone Wink
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 22, 2011 02:21 PM »

I read that same book last year in english class. loved it!

Asalaamu Alaikum
                             -SerigneBabs99
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 27, 2012 03:58 AM »

Read this blog recently and thought it would be nice to post. Definitely one of the reasons I love this series. Precious is a very strong woman. She does marry of course but it's the character that's so inspiring. (Still don't understand how a guy writes these books!)

=======================

When I feel constricted, suffocated by notions that a married woman is the only kind of woman who is worth being respected, being heard, I think of Precious Ramotswe. I think of her father. I think of what happened when a man who later turned out to be an abusive husband asked for his permission to marry her. I think of the very clear straightforward process Obed Ramotswe undertook:

    He sat on his stool and looked up at her and said to her that she would never have to marry anybody she did not want to marry. Those days were over, long ago. Nor should she feel that she had to marry at all; a woman could be by herself these days—there were more and more women like that.

I do fantasize about love and marriage. I grew up with romantic notions of fairy-tale weddings and eternal love and marital bliss. I still believe in these possibilities and want them for myself very, very much.

At the same time, I also fantasize about a wise, elder figure like Ramotswe telling me that it’s okay to not settle.

It may sound incredibly absurd. But when you are part of a culture where the spinster woman is so deeply shamed, where it’s hard to rejoice in your lifestyle when society refuses to accord you respect, you need to embrace an alternate reality. You need to build new mental models for ways of being.

So from this first book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, it is Obed Ramotswe’s words that sustain me, along with Precious’ ambition, creativity, an uncluttered, independent life, with bright yellow curtains, bush tea, and chats with dear friends. These things remind me that contentment, peace, love and mercy can exist in forms beyond the sociocultural establishment I have been born into.

It is in passages like the one above, moments like these, that I am struck by just how much literature can be such a rahma, such a mercy.

amuslimahwrites.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/more-on-singlehood/
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