The New York Times
February 11, 2013

WHEN my husband-to-be and I met the Ghanaian politician John Dramani Mahama at a friend’s wedding near Accra eight years ago, I liked him immediately. I kept up with his fortunes mostly through mutual friends, and I was happy to learn in 2009 that he had been elected his nation’s vice president. When I read a draft of his trenchant memoir, “My First Coup d’État,” in 2010, I offered to introduce him to some agents and editors in New York. Many people in the developed world expect African heads of state to be either terse and political or bloated and ideological. The surprise of John Mahama’s book is its tender humanism, and I thought it would go a long way toward breaking down prejudice in the United States. I blurbed the book when it was published last July; I hosted a party to celebrate its publication; I conducted an onstage interview with John Mahama at the New York Public Library and I am thanked in the book’s acknowledgments.