10 Books About the Importance of the Postal Service

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PG acknowledges that this does sound like a Covid story. He does, however, think the post-apocalyptic postal uniform on the cover of one of the books is intriguing.

From Electric Lit:

Given the recent news, we’ve been reminded just how vital the postal service is for our everyday life. With the June 2020 appointment of Louis DeJoy as the new Postmaster General, the USPS has seen a sharp decline into crisis; with the November presidential election rapidly approaching, many are concerned at what this means for mail-in ballots. Furthermore, for many indigenous, rural, and/or low-income communities, as well as incarcerated folks and people who need medication delivery, the USPS is often the only reliable source.

If this sobering turn of events has got you ruminating on the importance of mail delivery, below are ten books in which letters and the postal service—or lack thereof—play a crucial role. Ranging from academic studies about the diverse history of the USPS to a novel with original postcard artwork, these are books to write home about. (You should write home about them, and don’t forget to mail the letter!)

. . . .

The Postman by David Brin

In Brin’s dystopian vision for America, the USPS is painted as the only source of hope. In The Postman’s post-apocalyptic world, a man puts on an abandoned USPS uniform and tries to barter mail for food. However, his initial fraud snowballs, as he claims to work for the “Restored United States of America” and civilians cling to the idea of a centralized government’s return. Meanwhile, the U.S. is ravaged by bio-engineered plagues and a group of white supremacist, misogynist, and hypersurvivalist militia. The Postman, AI scientists, and other opposition groups must band together to fight for the future of civilization. Originally published in 1985, Brin’s sci-fi novel resonates uncomfortably true in our current-day society.

All My Mother’s Lovers by Ilana Masad

In Masad’s debut novel, a woman does her own postal delivery (as we’ll probably also be forced to if things don’t improve). When Maggie’s mother dies abruptly in a car crash and leaves behind five letters, Maggie is determined to hand-deliver the sealed envelopes to each address. Although Maggie always thought her mother, Iris, had the picture-perfect marriage, she realizes there was much more to Iris’s past than she ever dreamed of. All My Mother’s Lovers is a warm-hearted and intriguing exploration of family, the imperfect nature of relationships, the intersections of sexuality, gender, and identity—and how much five letters can change someone’s life.

Link to the rest at Electric Lit