Albert Lippincott is a thirty-year veteran of the Nestor New York Post Office - a letter carrier extraordinaire, aggressively cheerful, obsessively efficient. But Albert has a few things to hide. His unfortunate habit, for instance, of reading other people's mail and his abortive university career, complete with a crackpot theory, a nervous breakdown, and a thwarted attempt to bite out his professor's eye. A disastrous marriage, grotesquely self-absorbed parents, and a sexually ambiguous entanglement with his sister. And then there's his attempt to to reform the postal system of Kazakhstan, and his complicated relationship with cats.
And now his supervisors are on to his letter-opening compulsion, there's a throbbing pain under his left arm, and he is finding it increasingly difficult to contain his emotions. Things are closing in on Albert, and he is forced to confront, once and for all, his life's failures. Mailman is a blackly comic epic - a voyage through small-town America, and through the interior life of its most neurotic mailman, Lippincott and Lennon hold us captive with a wild narrative voice fuelled by desperation and a touch of madness.
J. Robert Lennon was born in 1970 and lives in New York State. He is the author of The Light of Falling Stars, The Funnies and On the Night Plain, all available from Granta Books.