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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Harper’

Barack Obama Sends Fan Mail to Yann Martel

yannmartel.pngToday novelist Yann Martel posted a piece of fan mail he received from President Barack Obama. The president wrote: “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.”

Over the last three years, Martel (pictured, via Geoff Howe) has been mailing books and letters to Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. The novelist posts the letters on his personal blog.

In his most recent post, Martel celebrated Obama’s letter: “If there was a way of tattooing it on my back, I would. What amazes me is the gratuity of it. As you would know, there is a large measure of calculation in what public figures do. But here, what does he gain? I’m not a US citizen. In no way can I be of help to President Obama. Clearly he did it for personal reasons, as a reader and as a father. And in two lines, what an insightful analysis of Life of Pi. Bless him, bless him.” (Via Quill & Quire)

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Yann Martel’s One-Man Book Club

Though it seems like LIFE OF PI author Yann Martel is waging something of a publicity stunt, he has noble intentions about how and why he’ll be sending Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper a book to read every two weeks for the duration of his leadership: increasing awareness for the arts and the amount of money allotted by the Canadian government.

Who is this man? What makes him tick? No doubt he is busy. No doubt he is deluded by that busyness. No doubt being Prime Minister fills his entire consideration and froths his sense of busied importance to the very brim. And no doubt he sounds and governs like one who cares not a jot for the arts.

But he must have moments of stillness. And so this is what I propose to do: not to educate—that would be arrogant, less than that—to make suggestions to his stillness.

The first book Martel sent was Leo Tolstoy’s THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH with a special note of recommendation that Harper pay attention to the character of Gerasim. No response yet, but there may be one sometime down the line…