God's Wife



Amanda Michalopoulou's God's Wife is a deceptive novel: it draws us close with promises of titillating confession and heart-warming intimacy only to send us on a conceptual scavenger hunt that probes the ethics of reading, writing, and the unspoken conventions of literary mastery.

"It sounds like a lie, but I am His wife," is the arresting opening declaration made by the novel's unnamed narrator, who will always be known through her role as an appendage, "at His side." This premise--bringing to mind as it does the very origins of the western novel: epistolary novels of romance as both salvation and captivity--immediately also raises issues of power, domination, truth and belief. God's Wife, then, is ultimately a meditation on the power of literature to create a space of imaginative play. It is a love story, a philosophical treatise on the nature of faith and divinity, a self-conscious meditation on the nature of writing and creativity, and a feminist tract all rolled into one. What holds all these strands together is what can only be described as the compelling authenticity of the narrator's voice and her relentless focus on the role of femininity as performance and convention in literature. Her voice is, of course, shaped by Michalopoulou's inimitably spare, elegant and masterfully evocative prose, which like the narrator's mother's brand of storytelling, uses few words and eschews didacticism.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date
December 30, 2019
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Amanda Michalopoulou was born in Athens, Greece in 1966. She has had a daily newspaper column in Kathimerini since 1990, and is the author of four novels, two short story collections, and a successful series of children's books. She has won various awards, in particular for her first short story collection, Life is Colourful Outside, and her first novel, Wishbone Memories. She currently lives in Athens.
Patricia Felisa Barbeito is Professor of American Literatures at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her translations include?Their Smell Makes Me Want to Cry(Birmingham Modern Greek Translations,2004), ?The Interrogation (Birmingham Modern Greek Translations, 2013), and The Great Chimera (Aiora, 2019).


A beautiful and haunting portrait of a marriage that scrambled my thoughts on faith, power, love and sacrifice. This text embodies the act of questioning in a way that is at once startling and affirming. A gorgeous, important book. -- Jac Jemc, author of The Grip of It and False Bingo

God's Wife is an incredible book. Playful and deeply disturbing at the same time, fierce and funny, a romantic comedy and a profound philosophical treatise at the same time-- and many, many other things. It's a book like no other I've ever read, a book impossible to pull off. I have no idea how Amanda Michalopoulou did it. --Daniel Kehlmann, author of Measuring the World

God's Wife is a stunningly brilliant book. At every turn, it avoids obviousness and cliche. The writing, crisp, clear, clever and compelling. It is a moving love story that unfolds with the rigorous intellectual logic of a piece of first-rate theology, into a vast, beautiful repetitive loop that urges the reader on to make fresh associations and new lines of thought. Highly recommended. --Simon Critchley, author of The Book of Dead Philosophers

God's Wife is a novel of marvels--and marvelous, in how splendidly Michalopoulou has conjured and told this story of the longing of a young girl for God, for great love. Her voice is charming and engaging, even though God doesn't always answer her questions. God's Wife is an allegorical work that speaks to these troubling times with an unusual voice, with wit and intelligence. --Lynne Tillman author of Men and Apparitions