Saturday, September 03, 2016

Shirley Deane — entertainer, world traveler, world changer

I got to meet Shirley Deane!

Who is Shirley Deane? — you ask. I didn't know until a couple of years ago. Her book, An Unreasonable Woman: In Search of Meaning Around the Globe, sat on a shelf in my bookshop for at least a year. The title was intriguing, but the cover illustration just didn't grab me. I kept moving it from place to place, until one day I read the blurb, flipped through a few pages, and I was hooked.

Amidst a successful career in music and entertainment, Shirley dropped all that and drove half-way around the world in a Land Rover, by herself except where forced to travel with armed guards.

After a stormy romance in the Middle East, she gave up all her worldy possessions as part of a spiritual journey in India.

Her adventures continued as she edited and published a book on Black South Africans, despite break-ins and death threats from an Apartheid regime.

Shirley Deane and Elizabeth Saunders
Shirley writes her story in simple, quick-moving prose. It's rare to find a nonfiction book that races along like a novel. I devoured the book, then passed it on to a friend.

I was delighted to attend Shirley's recent booksigning at Scuppernong Books.

At "nearly 80," she exuded life and feistiness as she recounted some of her stories.

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