I Am God
I Am God
by Giacomo Sartori
Translated from the Italian by Frederika Randall
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.
Paperback List Price: $16.99 • ISBN: 9781632062147 • Publication: 2/5/2019 • 5" x 7.125" • 224 pages • Fiction—Religious Satire / Italian • General Trade • Territory: World English • eBook ISBN: 9781632062154
About the Book
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.
Reviews for the Italian Edition:
“The well-wrought plot allows the unusually empathic Sartori to imagine a memorable woman character embroiled in Catholic hypocrisy, new age nature worship, testosterone-fueled careerism, and clerical pedophilia. Meanwhile the reflective side of the narrative gives the author the chance to explore all the implications of God-as-storyteller: omniscience, to name just one. A witty and profound confrontation with the most fundamental human problems.”
“Hilarious. Sartori is fully in control of his ambitious satirical design. He never forces the laughs (although one often laughs) and he never allows the tone to wander off track. A comic fable about the fate of women and the planet.”
“The narrative tone is cheerful and surreal, unusually for a writer like Sartori, most of whose novels are permeated with the tragedy of human existence. In fact, the irony is merely a different instrument, less straightforward and definitive, to reveal that same universe of illusions and violence of which the lives he writes about are made.”
—Novelist Andrea Inglese, Focus-in magazine
“The irony is nicely measured, never over the top; the mood is bittersweet; the author doesn’t hesitate to say exactly what he thinks, but never stoops to invective or escapism. Sartori is good at modulating tone, and especially good in the lyric mode the Great Protagonist uses when he gazes in wonder at the marvels of nature (marvels he has himself created) or the splendour of the galaxies and the planets, in passages that balance the more comic and surreal pages of the novel.”
“Sartori’s Dafne is one of the most emblematic and convincing female characters in recent Italian literature. She’s a free woman, highly intelligent, convinced of the power of science. God observes her daily, he inspects her closely, and he is jealous. Finally he becomes obsessed, observation slowly giving way to infatuation. These pages of Sono Dio are wrapped in immense tenderness, as the supreme being becomes shaken, and vulnerable.”
—Margherita Ingoglia, Kairos
About the Author
The novelist, poet and dramatist Giacomo Sartori was born in 1958 in Trento in the Alpine northeast of Italy near the Austrian border. An agronomist, he is a soil specialist whose unusual day job (unusual for a writer) has shaped a distinctive concrete and poetic literary style. He has worked abroad with international development agencies in a number of countries, and has taught at the Università di Trento. He was over 30 when he began writing, and has since published seven novels and four collections of stories as well as poetry and texts for the stage. He’s an editor of the literary collective Nazione Indiana and contributes to the blog www.nazioneindiana.com.
Sartori took as his subject in his early novels Tritolo (TNT) and Sacrificio (Sacrifice) the stifling provincial atmosphere of the valleys of his native region and the twisted lives of its most vulnerable inhabitants. A recent novel Rogo (At the Stake), also set in the region, is written in the voices of three women from different historical periods who commit infanticide. The autofiction Anatomia della battaglia (The Anatomy of the Battle) about a young man’s effort to come to terms with and define his manhood against the model of his father, a committed Fascist, and the historical novel Cielo nero (Black Heavens), deal with fascism and its dark, persistent allure. Sartori’s shorter fiction includes the book of interrelated absurdist stories Autismi (Autisms, 2018) written in the voice of a person struggling to cope with the bizarre, baffling customs and expectations that all around him seem to share. The black humor and pessimism are reminiscent of Samuel Beckett. Several stories from Autismi have appeared in Frederika Randall’s English translation in Massachusetts Review, and an excerpt from L’Anatomia della battaglia, also translated by Randall, appeared in The Arkansas International no 2. At present 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.