Mr. Martel --
My daughter and I just finished reading Life of Pi together. Both of us agreed we prefer the story with animals.
It is a lovely book -- an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling.
(signed) Barack Obama
No matter what you think about his policies, I think it is going to take our society decades to accurately judge the impact, particularly on race relations in America, of having, as the executive power in the United States, an African-American man who reads contemporary fiction to his eleven-year-old daughter and wrote that letter to the author. This is something brand new to American History, and it's about time, particularly given the long string of completely disfunctional families from both parties that have occupied the White House in my entire lifetime.
The fact that he's Black doesn't make his intelligence or parenting special, but him being all that and President does make it historic. And it changes more perceptions than we know. I don't think we white liberals even begin to "get it" about that.
PS Yann Martel sends his own Prime Minister a book every two weeks and doesn't get this much personal response.