Magical Mystery

PER-ANDERS PETTERSSON / REPORTAGE/GETTY FOR TIME

REFRAMING AFRICA: Minghella, at center, on the set of No. 1 Ladies' in Gaborone, Botswana

Two fictional characters fared spectacularly well amid the uncertainty that followed 9/11. One was Harry Potter, whose adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland provided an exhilarating escape for millions of children, and not a few parents. The other was Precious Ramotswe, whose everyday adventures as boss of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana provided a reassuring escape for millions of adults, and not a few children. Sales of both novel series soared into the tens of millions, making Edinburgh, where J.K. Rowling and Alexander McCall Smith both write, a cradle of superstar...

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