An interview with Alexander McCall Smith, the author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency:
Interviewer: You once saw a woman chasing a chicken around her yard in Botswana. She was the inspiration for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Fifteen years after witnessing that scene, you decided to write about her.
Smith: That particular vision, that experience, made me think it would be good to write about a woman like her. I wondered what her story was, this woman, and I reflected upon how she probably had a very interesting past. She had probably brought up a number of children with very little money. Her yard was nicely swept — it was a respectable house in which she was living. She was probably, with very little in a material sense, making a good life for herself.