God’s wife, written by Amanda Michalopoulou is an astonishing book. Its premise is more than interesting as the writer geniously conceived to give a humanized character to God or, the other way round, a divine to his wife, giving us in this way an exciting, adventurous and unexpectable story. The epic and universal question about God’s existence ends up being a marital plight. A human mask cannot fit God’s face. A divine mask cannot fit his wife’s face as well. All efforts made by both sides to eschew their real nature, or better said, the efforts made by each one to look like another lead to frustration. The woman finds it hard to accept the introvert, unpredictable and enigmatic character of God; her bottled feelings find the way out of this situation when she writes down her personal story.
Her early desire and human pride of being chosen as God’s wife vanishes into thin air and leaves behind only emotions of insecurity and rage.There comes a time that she craves to taste human pleasures, both earthly and intellectual, but God gives her only His cold shoulder and sleeps. She cannot stand the Angels flying around, the love when it is an one-way street, not even stillness. She needs rewarding or punishment. All this perfectness of the divine world raises questions and a lasting agony as to their answer. However, God gives no response. He encourages her to find answers to her burning questions, whereas he dislikes literature as it reminds him of the creation failure, not to mention that it provokes imagination. For God the only solution is rationality. On the other side, His wife has a different point of view.
What makes this book so interesting is that it deals with the ultimate existential human query and it raises matters not only as to the relationship between man and God but also, via fiction, between people. We have to mention that Michalopoulou depicts God in a way that brings no signs of disrespect or irony. Not at all. On the contrary, she underlines the arrogance that man shows in his effort to explain the existence of God by overlooking the earthly restrictions and human inadequacy.
It seems that Michalopoulou has meticulously studied cosmogonic and philosophical matters. The various citations and quotations of great philosophers included give her readers the chance for further search and contemplation. God’s Wife is an enjoyable book that gives no answers but raises issues as to the nature of love: divine or human.
Published in Greek by Kastaniotis (2014)
Published in English by Dalkey Archive Press (2019)
Translated in English by Patricia Felisa Barbeito
Amanda Michalopoulou was born in 1966 in Athens. She made her debut in literature in 1994 with the short story collection entitled “Life is Colourful Out There”. Her books have been translated in various languages.