Diabolically funny and subversively philosophical, Italian novelist Giacomo Sartori’s I Am God is the diary of the Almighty’s existential crisis that erupts when he falls in love with a human.
I am God. Have been forever, will be forever. Forever, mind you, with the razor-sharp glint of a diamond, and without any counterpart in the languages of men. So begins God’s diary of the existential crisis that ensues when, inexplicably, he falls in love with a human. And not just any human, but a geneticist and fanatical atheist who’s certain she can improve upon the magnificent creation she doesn’t even give him the credit for. It’s frustrating, for a god.
God has infinitely bigger things to occupy his celestial attentions. Yet he can’t tear his eyes (so to speak) from the geneticist who’s unsettlingly avid when it comes to science, sex, and Sicilian cannoli. Whatever happens, he must safeguard his transcendental dignity. So he watches—disinterestedly, of course—as the handsome climatologist who has his sights set on her keeps having strange accidents. And as the lanky geneticist becomes hell-bent on infiltrating the Vatican’s secret files, for reasons of her own….
A sly critique of the hypocrisy and hubris that underlie faith in religion, science, and macho careerism, I Am God takes us on a hilarious and provocative romp through the Big Questions with the universe’s supreme storyteller.
Praise for I Am God:
“The narrator of Sartori’s hilarious, insightful novel, his first to be published in English, is none other than God, a proper monotheistic deity stirred in a very human way by one of his own creations.... On page after laugh-out-loud page, this articulate God—and author—cover just about every cynical and lofty concept concerning one’s own existence that humans ever pondered. This is an immensely satisfying feat of imagination.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Who better to reflect on the state of the planet than its creator? I Am God is by turns funny, sad, outrageous, and tender—a cosmic romp.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction
“I am God is like a mirthful dream made real by the ingenuity of Sartori’s prose and Randall’s splendidly pointed and sly translation.”
—Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
“A playful, exciting, mockingly modern voice, translated, what’s more, by one of the few translators who can really make the Italian vernacular sing truly and fluently in English.”
—Tim Parks, author of Italian Ways and Italian Neighbors
“In this riotous philosophical romp, Sartori has invented an omniscient narrator like no other and an identity crisis with truly cosmic implications. Poignant, hilarious, and serious by turns, this is a jeu d’esprit with both heart and mind.”
—Eva Hoffman, author of Lost in Translation
“Like the angel in the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, God finds himself considering what it would be like if he experienced life as a human.... Sartori's philosophical fantasy succeeds in getting us to ponder life's big questions from fresh angles.”
About the Author
The novelist, poet, and dramatist Giacomo Sartori was born in 1958 in Trento, Italy. He is an agronomist specializing in soil studies. Sartori has published seven novels, four collections of stories, poetry, and texts for the stage, and he is an editor of the literary collective Nazione Indiana. He lives between Paris and Trento.
About the Translator
Frederika Randall grew up in Pittsburgh and has lived in Italy for more than 30 years. A journalist and translator from Italian, she has written cultural reportage for numerous US and Italian publications. She translated the epic novel of the Risorgimento, Ippolito Nievo’s Confessions of An Italian,fiction by Guido Morselli, Luigi Meneghello, Ottavio Cappellani, Helena Janeczek, Igiaba Scego and Davide Orecchio, and three volumes of nonfiction by historian Sergio Luzzatto. Awards include a Pen-Heim grant, and with Luzzatto, the Cundill Prize for Historical Literature. More at frederikarandall.wordpress.com.
The narrator of Sartori's hilarious, insightful novel, his first to be published in English, is none other than God, a proper monotheistic deity stirred in a very human way by one of his own creations. In language he claims is inadequate for a lonely god, he begins to keep a diary, tracking a tall, purple-pigtailed geneticist named Daphne. He observes with increasing pique her hapless life as she goes about artificially inseminating cattle, saving endangered horny toads, and engaging in unsatisfactory sex. Her friendship with an energetic zoologist and her randy paleoclimatologist boyfriend is especially irksome to him. ("Some things that happen are so predictable that even a drunken tree sloth could see them coming.") He mocks these humans and their inebriation, their paltry appreciation of his creation like "asking a protozoan to describe an elephant: he could tell you about an infinitesimal portion of one hair on the scrotum." And yet God becomes so smitten with Daphne that after attempting to distract himself by watching a couple of galaxies collide he succumbs to intervening in the most diabolical manner. On page after laugh-out-loud page, this articulate God and author cover just about every cynical and lofty concept concerning one's own existence that humans ever pondered. This is an immensely satisfying feat of imagination.