Dawn French, and her new book, “A Tiny Bit Marvellous”

28 10 2010

I am giddy with joy this morning. I know it has something to do with the warm wind chasing the leaves around and the view of my new little puppy trying to catch them and wrestle them into submission, but the chief reason is finding out that one of the funniest women alive, Dawn French, has penned her first novel.  I can’t wait.  Dawn French is who I wish I could have been.  She’s funny, confident, despite being somewhat on the plumper side, a confirmed chocaholic, and she has a laugh which, like mine, leaves no one wondering where she is or that she is enjoying herself.

She’s a year older than I, was married for about the same time, separated amicably as I did. The difference is that she is brilliantly funny, the kind of funny I wish I could pull out of my hat.  She makes up portmanteau words, splicing them together if needed, and is wonderfully alliterative, especially with names. Must be that British/Welsh education system…

She’s enthusiastic, not unwilling to look foolish, and finds joy easily.  Her confidence, she says, comes from her father – something I wish more men would realize in their parenting of girls. I owe much of what I’ve managed to accomplish to the fact that my dad thought pretty highly of me, not that he said it often – it wasn’t what men did – but I could tell it in every exchange that he thought I was smart and funny and pretty and worth knowing.  It bolstered me up for the inevitable slings and arrows of outrageous adolescence. And I’ll never forget the afternoons we spent together chatting when he was on bedrest and I was working nights.

Anyway, I am also thrilled that she’s written it NOW, at 53.  She’s written lots of other stuff before now – screenplays and sketches and a book of letters, “Dear Fatty”, written to her gal pal Saunders – but this is her first novel.  The characters sound enchanting, and, somewhat oddly, the family sounds vaguely like mine, complete with dog, Poo. (We had Pickles, but…)

It gives me hope.

And anticipation. It’s available for pre-order as it comes out in Canada on my birthday!! I’ve already got my order in!

Also highly recommended: Hugh Laurie’s “The Gun Seller”. I’m in the process of trying to choose one of the many books by polymath and tremendously funny man Stephen Fry, too.  And fighting the urge to get the clock that has his voice as Jeeves as the alarm. Surely hearing his mellifluous voice is worth $100? Although, truth be told, I’d prefer one of the jokes from the Vicar of Dibley as my wakeup call.

So Hooray for Dawn and I’m off to write, smiling and hopeful as I do.

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