My Father Is an African Immigrant and My Mother Is a White Girl from Kansas and I Am Not the President of the United States
My father moved back to Nigeria one month after I was born. Neither I nor my sister Ijeoma, who is a year and a half my elder, have any recollection of him. Over the course of the next 16 years, we did not receive so much as a phone call from him, until one day in the spring of 1999, when a crinkled envelope bearing unfamiliar postage stamps showed up in the mailbox of Ijeoma's first apartment. Enclosed was a brief letter from our father in which he explained the strange coincidence that had led to him "finding" us.* It was a convoluted story involving his niece marrying the brother of one of our mother's close friends from years ago. As a postscript to the letter, he expressed his desire to speak to us and included his telephone number.
Everyone at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was Jewish—and by "everyone" I mean that while Jews comprise 2 percent of the American population roughly every third person at the conference was Jewish. I met some kids from the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, a group of terrifyingly bright 20-year-olds, and quickly learned, to my lack of shock, that most of them were Jews. The business majors and the MBAers were Jews; one conference organizer, a Sloan student with a distinctively Irish name told me how glad he was I was writing this story, because clearly everyone there, himself included, was Jewish. The journalists covering the conference were Jews. And Mark Cuban—his family name was Chopininski—is Jewish, too. This matters.
George R. R. Martin has now sold more than fifteen million books worldwide, and his readership will likely multiply exponentially after the launch, this month, of "Game of Thrones," a lavish HBO series based on "A Song of Ice and Fire." He is committed to nurturing his audience, no matter how vast it gets. "It behooves a writer to be good to his fans," he says. Still, a close relationship with one’s audience has its drawbacks. As Martin puts it, "The more readers you have, the harder it is to keep up, and then you can’t get any writing done."