Books in Translation Book Club

Monthly book club discussion on translated books. This month: I Am God by Giacomo Sartori, translated by Frederika Randall
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Diabolically funny and subversively philosophical, Italian novelist Giacomo Sartori’s I am God is the diary of the Almighty’s existential crisis that ensues 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.

 

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. He lives in Paris. An agronomist, he is a soil specialist whose unusual day job (unusual for a writer) has shaped a distinctive concrete and poetic literary style. A prolific and sophisticated writer of fiction with a dozen volumes to his credit, 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.

Sartori has also published poems and plays, and he has won several Italian literary prizes. Three of his novels have been translated into French. Several stories from Autismi appeared in Frederika Randall’s English translation in Massachusetts Review last year. An excerpt from L’Anatomia della battaglia, also translated by Randall, appeared in The Arkansas International no 2.


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.

Event date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
I Am God: A Novel Cover Image
By Giacomo Sartori, Frederika Randall (Translated by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781632062147
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Restless Books - February 5th, 2019