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Burning Patience (The Postman)

Burning Patience (The Postman)

by Antonio Skármeta, Katherine Silver (Translator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in Chile in the early 1970s, this boisterous tale traces the growth from innocence to experience of Mario Jimenez, a young postman whose sole duty is to deliver mail to Pablo Neruda, the most famous citizen of Isla Negra, a tiny fishing hamlet. Neruda, Chile's national poet and a Nobel laureate, bolsters Mario's romantic involvement with beautiful Beatriz by teaching the postman the magical, metaphorical language of poetry. Over the vigorous protests of Beatriz's mother and the villagers, the lovers wed. Puncturing local and national pomposities with unfailing wit, Skarmeta draws parallels between Mario's private life and the public turbulence and violence that gradually overtake Chile, bringing this sunny, erotic fantasy to a tragic close with the 1973 murder of President Salvador Allende and the death of Neruda. This imaginative, amusing and ultimately ominous story depicts the perennial and uneven struggle between raw power and poetry. (April)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Skameta, author of The Insurrection ( LJ 6/1/83) and other works, belongs to the increasingly important club of Chilean exile writers. This whimsical, seemingly autobiographical novelette set in windswept littoral Chile during Allende's administration relates the attempts of an inexperienced postman to consummate his amorous intentions with the intervention of Neruda's poetry. The facile prose, smoothly translated, conveys the sensuality of Neruda's verse and the practical, albeit humorous, applications thereof. A key feature is the larger-than-life emergence of Skarmeta's mentor Neruda, to whom the author pays long-overdue tribute in the novel's denouement. For general fiction collections. Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
A Pantheon Modern Writers Original Ser.
Edition description:
1st English language ed

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