Thank you America, for finally shutting up every pub bore who smugly informs you that 'America is so racist it would never vote for a black President.'
Thank you Americans for standing in line for many hours to prove so decisively that democracy functions exactly as it should. Thank you to the low-income workers who lost pay yesterday because they had to wait in line so long. Thank you to African-Americans who came out in record numbers to vote, often for the first time and to white Americans who put centuries of bigotry and prejudice behind them to vote for America's first black president.
But very selfishly, thank you America for releasing me from eight years of being a minority. A minority among my anti-American friends, who believe that no good can come from America.
Thank you America for your optimism, your belief in the future, the vitality of your language, your literature and yes - your television (The Sopranos!), for Jon Stewart and the Onion, for Studs Terkel, who didn't quite live to see this, for Philip Roth and Toni Morrison and Houdini and Robert de Niro and Donna Karan and Betty Friedan and Ms Magazine and Goldie Hawn Marvin Gaye and Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. For frozen yogurt and Barney's. The list goes on and on.
Yes it can. Yes it did. Yes it will.
(And a minute ago a DHL courier came to the door with the first copy of the US edition of The Clothes on Their Backs. Which has a starred Kirkus review coming up.)
America still reinvents itself, and that is its promise to the world.