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Rebecca Davis Launches Best White and Other Anxious Delusions at The Book Lounge

Rebecca Davis

The launch of Best White and Other Anxious Delusions by Rebecca Davis at The Book Lounge was an evening of great hilarity.

Mervyn Sloman, owner of The Book Lounge, was in conversation with the author, a well-known columnist and journalist for The Daily Maverick, about a whole range of subjects.

Sloman began by welcoming the many guests, joking that he would insist on Davis’ next launch being at Cape Town Stadium.

Shop window at the Book LoungeBest White and Other Anxious DelusionsThe event kicked off with details of the colourful language that had offended those with more delicate sensibilities at a recent literary festival.

Davis’ mimicry of the unusual people she has encountered (Oscar Pistorius, fellow passengers on a SAA flight and her boss – on Hello Cupid) makes her a shoe-in for a stand up comedy show, and her accounts of her unusual life kept the audience roaring with laughter.

“A lot of people who don’t know her have, until now, thought her quite serious,” Sloman said of Davis, “a person who writes about serious issues in an intelligent way. For those of you who shared that misconception, forget about all that. This book is absolutely marvellous.”

After cracking the book open at 11.30 PM after a singularly awful day, when the publishing industry had profoundly dented his humour, Sloman says he found himself laughing aloud within two pages.

“I was guffawing! Even though I hate that word, that’s what I was doing. It felt good to laugh. It felt like the world was somehow a better place,” he said.

Davis interrupted him and, looking him directly in the eye, said “Well that’s just as well, Mervyn, because I wrote the book for you.” She paused, looked at the audience, and said, “And for you!”

The author shared her recollections of working as a “fake girlfriend” on a well known internet dating site, being paid to send notes like “Hi Hon, fancy a chat? xx” to some 5 000 people, and then being obliged to correspond with those who replied.

She recalled researching the number one hit single that played when “Marjorie from Wiltshire, 56″ was 17, as well as lying about having grandchildren who were watching Finding Nemo.

The experience was stressful and troubled her conscience. After a couple of back and forth messages, the person inevitably wanted to meet, at which point she had to pull the plug. “If you ever hear, ‘Good luck on your journey’ you know you’ve been well and truly had!”

The audience also heard terrific tales of Davis’ time working on the Oxford English Dictionary and her getting bumped from a flight while covering the Oscar trial.

If you could not attend, this podcast (provided courtesy of The Book Lounge) will delight almost as much as the book:

* * * * * * * *

Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:


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Rebecca Davis launched her book in conversation with Mervyn Sloman

Posted by Pan Macmillan South Africa on Monday, 22 June 2015


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