NEW YORK - Samantha Power admits she has "aged 25 years in the last week".

NEW YORK - Samantha Power admits she has "aged 25 years in the last week".

Ever since she described presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a "monster stooping to anything" in what she said was an "off-the-record" comment to a Scottish newspaper, the Harvard professor has been hot news on two continents.

Power, a 37-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner, had been serving as Barack Obama's top foreign policy adviser, an unpaid position, for the past 14 months. But she immediately resigned from the Democratic candidate's staff and offered profuse apologies to Clinton and Obama about her intemperate comments.

Others caught in a firestorm of controversy might sequester themselves, but Power is starting to resume a few interviews, including an expansive one on Wednesday with the Seattle P-I, one of her first.

The interview was prompted by Power's 12-city US tour for her new book, Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira De Mello and the Fight to Save the World, a 535-page biography of the late United Nations commissioner for human rights. De Mello once was described as "a cross between James Bond and Bobby Kennedy". The Brazilian was widely admired at the time of his death as a fearless troubleshooter around the globe.

In her P-I interview, Power discussed her book, her work with Obama and her controversial Clinton comments.

The native of Ireland, who came to the United States at age nine with her mother, completed an undergraduate degree at Yale and a law degree at Harvard. She had gone to Bosnia as an unknown freelance reporter and her work there led to her first book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction.

Only one US official ever contacted Power to discuss her genocide book, a new senator from Illinois.

Her long dinner with Barack Obama persuaded her to take leave from Harvard and work in his Washington office where she had been for the past year. - New York Times