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Europe

Michelle Obama cancels Paris and Berlin appearances for Bush funeral

media Michelle Obama at the start of her promotional tour for her book 'Becoming' in Chicago, November 12 2018.o, le 12 novembre. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

Former US first lady Michelle Obama has cancelled book tour visits to Paris and Berlin to attend the funeral of George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday aged 94.

Obama's memoirs have already sold more than two million copies in two weeks in Canada and the United States.

Translated into 31 languages, the book is also the leading seller in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France, according to Penguin Random House, the book publisher's parent company.

“It’s important to me to join the Bush family in celebrating President George H.W. Bush’s exemplary life,” she tweeted.

“This will unfortunately preclude my visits to Paris and Berlin. I’ve been deeply touched by the enthusiasm for my memoir, and I’m working to reschedule my trip for next year.”

In a second message, she said she hoped readers and ticket holders would understand the decision “and join me in paying tribute” to Bush and “his tremendous contributions to our world.”

“We are all extremely disappointed by this cancellation, but we understand Mrs. Obama’s wish to be there for the Bush family,” said Sophie de Closets, president of Éditions Fayard, the publisher of the French version of her book.

According to Fayard, more than 50,000 copies of the book have already been sold in France and a second reprint has been ordered.

Released on November 13, Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” sold more than two million copies in North America in its first 15 days.

Feminist icon

The 54-year-old mother of two America’s first African American first lady and wife of the first black US president is wildly popular at home and abroad, loved for her warm personality, intelligence and women’s activism.

In the book she writes that she can “never forgive” Donald Trump for questioning her husband’s US citizenship, accusing him and other “birthers” of putting her family at risk.

Obama also explores very personal issues. She details a miscarriage and how she conceived daughters Malia, 20, and Sasha, 17, by in-vitro fertilization. She also reveals how she attended marriage counselling.

Michelle Obama a débuté la promotion de son livre à la Whitney M. Young Magnet High School à Chicago, le 12 novembre. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

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