Author: Rebecca Davis
Every so often, whenever I feel the need to laugh a bit, I download books written by young South African writers. Let’s be honest, according to CNN and BBC, and very other media coverage on South Africa coming our way, it’s easy to think it is all doom and gloom, and that there will not be a country to return to. Of course, family and friends provide the perspective I need, but I do still need to read the humour, chucking away as CNN warns of the apocalyptic lows we’re headed for.
The books I buy are not the literary works, that often cannot – and should not – be read whilst episodes of The Good Wife play in the background. But the more humorous books with collections of essays written by young South African writers who absolutely refuse to take themselves too seriously, and who know how to laugh at themselves. I love reading these type of books, which have not a whiff of apartheid guilt or of struggle entitlement. They are often funny, very funny. Written by extremely talented people who are well aware of – you would have to be an utter simpleton to not be cognizant of the social and economic problems of South Africa – but all-too-happy to write about our country’s quirks and foibles. Of which there are many.
Best White and Other Anxious Delusions is just that kind of book. Davis defines the ‘Best White’ as the white South African who goes out their way to prove that they are not racist , hence better than them (the other white South Africans). Her observations on race , gender, sexual orientation, and political issues are hilarious. Self deprecating humour, tidbits of factual information, random observations on children’s stories – in this case it was Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Oscar Fever (she covered the Oscar Pistorius Trial), and meeting the Queen on England. It’s all there. It’s laugh-out-funny, and reading it felt like I was sitting in my living room, with a glass of wine (which I was), having a conversation with a girlfriend. Highly recommended.