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The note from Barack Obama, as posted on Yann Martel's website

Saskatoon author Yann Martel has received a handwritten letter of praise from U.S. President Barack Obama.

Martel has posted a picture of the note, received just over a week ago, on his website, www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca.

In it, Obama writes in black ink that he and his daughter just finished reading Martel's novel Life of Pi, which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2002.

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The president calls it "a lovely book" and "an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling."

On Monday, Martel wrote a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to let him know about Obama's note, and how elated it made him feel.

The letter to Harper is one of many Martel has written to the prime minister in some two years in an effort to inspire an "imaginative depth" within him.

Martel sends one letter to Harper every two weeks, along with a literary work.

Fifty-five of the letters are published in Martel's recently released book, What is Stephen Harper Reading?

Martel's highly anticipated follow-up to Life of Pi will be released on April 6. Titled Beatrice and Virgil, the novel is a Holocaust tale told through animals.

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