'So the book is launched,' I said to Kennedy.
‘What book?’ he asked, barely glancing up from getting messages on his iBone.
I’m thinking of getting a new publicist. Kennedy has launched his own Instagram account, and has over 7000 followers, which has rather gone to his head. He is even sporting a new hairstyle to make him look like a large predatory feline, which frankly, for a Chihuahua, is nothing short of grandiose.
Anyway, back to more important matters. No one cracked a bottle of bubbly on its hull, but Notes from the Lost Property Department was blessed with libations at two book launches.
In Cape Town, the book was launched at the Book Lounge, with a conversation with the esteemed book critic Jennifer Crocker. And in Johannesburg, it set sail with the help of the charming and elegant editor and writer Aspasia Karras, at Lovebooks. I was rather apprehensive that they would be attended only by long suffering family members. But both had a reasonably robust turn out, perhaps induced by the provision of excellent snacks.
The best thing about the events was that people came who knew me from all the chapters of my life. The Jo’burg launch was a bit disconcerting, as it was attended old school mates who had known me when I was five years old and once wore pyjama pants to school instead of the regulation grey bloomers, (shamefully revealed when I hung upside down on the jungle gym).
My high school English teacher was there, who knew me as an unformulated fourteen year old who spent her lessons surreptitiously eating Fritos and writing poetry on very small scrolls which I kept in a world sharpener in my pencil case. Also my Gym teacher, now in her eighties, who spent 12 years patiently trying to remedy my total failure on the sports field.
In Cape Town, there were people who’d marched with me when I was a social activist sporting a Free Mandela button with stern opinions on What is to be Done; others who’d got to know me over the heads of our squalling infants in pushchairs; and more recent connections forged in the trenches defending a local wetland from developers.
I recall little of what was actually said at these events, but fortunately Liesl Jobson was at the Cape Town launch, and has written a great account on the BooksLive website, as well as supplying these fabulous pics. The extracts which I read aloud can be downloaded here.
So thanks to all who made this possible, especially to Ryno Posthumus and Fourie Botha of PenguinRandom House, Kate Rogan at LoveBooks and Mervyn Sloman and The Book Lounge team, and all those who came and smiled at me kindly and bought books. The novel is launched, and all that remains to be said is bless this book and all who sail in her.