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The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

by Denis Thériault

What a surprising little book this is and quite hard to pigeonhole. I could not condone the actions of a postman who steams open the letters he intercepts. But my unease was swept away by the beautiful haiku and tanka that form part of the story - simply sublime.

Extract

The letters from the Guadeloupean woman contained nothing else. Always a single sheet of paper on which was written a single poem. It wasn't much, yet it was generous, since those poems nourished you as much as a whole novel - they were long in your soul, where they echoed forever. Bilodo learned them by heart and recited them to himself on his morning round. He treasured them up in the top drawer of his bedside table and liked spreading them around him at night, constructing a kind of mystical circle, and rereading them one after the other...
Translated by Liedewy Hawke

Parallels

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
Can't and Won't by Lydia Davis
 

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