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May 04 , 2008

Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office


A collection of undelivered letters chronicles the intersecting stories of the survivors of a mysterious event that sends the world back to a technologically pre-industrial age. With its first letter set years into a new era, Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office chronologically works its way back to the abrupt, unexpected end of the modern world. Through the letters of the survivors, readers pick up clues into how that mysterious end came about and piece together how society broke down and began to reinvent itself. An epistolary mosaic emerges of a world in which distances have grown vastly greater, but the human need to communicate remains just as urgent as before. In this world, although most advanced technology is now useless or has been radically repurposed, many of humankind's most bedrock institutions and practices have not only survived, but - for good or ill - are stronger than ever: the public library, the cooperative farm, participatory democracy, out-group scapegoating, organized crime. Situated at the convergence of the experimental, epistolary and speculative genres, Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office is an inventive and disturbing yet ultimately hopeful vision of humanity's resilience in the aftermath of disaster.

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Nathan Poell is a librarian living in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife and two cats. This is his first novel.

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