The Postman

Set in a small Chilean fishing village, The Postman begins with the protagonist, Mario, taking a new job as a mail carrier for a small island nearby.  Unfortunately, the island has only one literate postal customer but this customer is Pablo Neruda.  As Mario becomes friendly with the famous poet, he solicits advice on how to woo Beatriz, the town's beautiful and unattainable barmaid. 

“It says yes, in blue, in foam, in a gallop. It says no, then no. It cannot be still. My name is sea, it repeats, striking a stone but not convincing it. Then with the seven green tongues, of seven green tigers, of seven green seas, it caresses it, kisses it, wets it, and pounds on its chest, repeating its own name.”

Antonio Skármeta is a Chilean author and screenwriter.  He left Chile in 1973 and returned in 1989, after the end of Pinochet's regime, and began hosting a television program about literature and the arts.  He has also served as the Chilean ambassador to Germany and worked as a professor in both the U.S. and Chile.

Published:  1985
Length:  120 pages
Set in:  Chile
Translated by:  Katherine Silver