THE POSTMAN’S FIANCÉE

Denis Thériault & John Cullen (Translator)

The much-anticipated follow-up to the Radio 2 Book Club-favourite The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

Twenty-two-year-old Tania has moved to Montreal to study, fine-tune her French and fall in love. Finding work as a waitress in an unpretentious down-town restaurant, she meets Bilodo, a shy postman who spends his days perfecting his calligraphy and writing haiku. The two hit it off. But then one stormy day their lives take a dramatic turn, and as their destinies become entwined Tania and Bilodo are led into a world where nothing is as it seems.

A charming standalone work that reunites readers with the touching and much-loved characters first found in The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman,

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The much-anticipated follow-up to the Radio 2 Book Club-favourite The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

Twenty-two-year-old Tania has moved to Montreal to study, fine-tune her French and fall in love. Finding work as a waitress in an unpretentious down-town restaurant, she meets Bilodo, a shy postman who spends his days perfecting his calligraphy and writing haiku. The two hit it off. But then one stormy day their lives take a dramatic turn, and as their destinies become entwined Tania and Bilodo are led into a world where nothing is as it seems.

A charming standalone work that reunites readers with the touching and much-loved characters first found in The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman, The Postman’s Fiancée is an enchanting, poignant and bittersweet love story that will move readers, young and old alike.

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  • Oneworld
  • Paperback
  • July 2017
  • 208 Pages
  • 9781786071132

Buy the Book

$15.99

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About Denis Thériault & John Cullen (Translator)

DenisThériault is an award-winning author and screenwriter living in Montreal, Canada. The Postman’s Fiancée is the much-anticipated follow-up to the runaway hit The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman (Oneworld, 2016). His debut novel, The Boy Who Belonged to the Sea, will also be published by Oneworld in February 2018.

John Cullen is the translator of numerous books from Spanish, German, Italian and French, including the international bestseller The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud (Oneworld, 2015). He lives in New York.

Praise

“Enchanting, philosophically astute and deeply poignant.”John Burnside

“Quirky and charming with a well-executed denouement, this novella brings to mind nothing less than a giddily-lovesick Kafka.”The Guardian

Discussion Questions

1. As well as being an award-winning author, Denis Thériault is also a screenwriter. Did you find that aspects of the novel could be described as cinematic? How do images or “moments” contribute to the story?

2. The Postman’s Fiancée invites comparison with Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie, in the way it focuses on quirky characters who delight in the small eccentricities of life. Can you find any other similarities with Amélie? Would you say that Thériault’s characters are intended as realistic, or are they part-caricature?

3. The Postman’s Fiancée uses haiku as a way of storytelling. How effective did you find this technique?

4. Tania Schumpf is neurotic, obsessive and manipulative. Did you find her unlikeable as a character? Or can the reader sympathise with her desperate attempts at love?

5. Bilodo rebukes Tania for attempting to hijack and control his life. Yet he usurped the identity of Grandpré and misled Ségolène into believing her lover was still alive. Is Bilodo a hypocrite? Why do you think Tania and Bilodo are determined to inhabit the lives of other people?

6. Thériault raises questions about memory and its connection to our sensory world. Is it our memories which define who we are as human beings?

7. Bilodo leads a lonely existence and only attains a feeling of intimacy from reading other people’s personal letters, which are themselves a rarity. In today’s society, do we increasingly struggle to make connections with people?

8. “Beech Street, rue des Hêtres, was for the most part lined with maples.” How well does this opening line capture the key themes of the book? What significance do names and locations carry? How much of the book is about miscommunication?

9. The characters in The Postman’s Fiancée live in fantasy worlds of their own making. Does Thériault see this as a dangerous way to live? Or does he suggest that all of us need fantasies to sustain us?

10. Consider other characters in literature who live in worlds of their own making. A few starting points would be: Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. How do these characters compare with Tania and Bilodo? Why do you think this theme is so prevalent throughout literature?