It is 1989 and Naiko is working in the Undeliverable MailOffice, a cavernous space that resembles a giant, congested pawnshop. Immersedin things lost and missing, she searches for clues to match undeliverable mailwith addresses, a job that allows her to achieve a semblance of order in adisorderly world. It is a shock, then, when Naiko’s co-worker Andrei, anenigmatic Romanian refugee who has become the unlikely object of Naiko’sfascination, suddenly vanishes.
As the novel reveals itself in exquisitely wrought layers thatdrift through time from the Second World War to the fall of communism, Andrei’sstory of his past life in communist Romania becomes an opaque reflection ofNaiko’s own existence, and objects—from the pens hoarded by Naiko’s motherin her retirement home to the personal effects of Jewish women that Andrei’sgrandmother sorts through at Birkenau—become touchstones for memories andmeaning, loss and love. A luminous debut novel from a rising talent of the newgeneration of Canadian writers, The Letter Opener is a compelling work ofliterary fiction that glows with truth.
"This is an extraordinarily thoughtful novel.... It all feels so tranquil, so exact, so hallucinatory in a tidy and scientifically organized way, the report of such a careful, observant and honest witness." (Elisabeth Harvor)