Jenny Diski Only Human : A Comedy

ISBN 13: 9781860499142

Only Human : A Comedy

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9781860499142: Only Human : A Comedy
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Having seen enough of the results of autonomy and imagination with Adam and Eve, and dull obedience in the shape of the dutiful Noah, God tried once more to infiltrate humanity by seeking a solitary man whose history he could control and develop. Abraham was his chosen one. But accidents happen, unforeseen consequences of the best laid plans. Not even God, it appears, is exempt from jealousy. When the Lord made his final creation on earth, love came along for the ride and caused havoc, even to the Creator himself. Between the way of the world and the way of love, no one is safe. As the Creator and the barren wife wage war, they struggle not only over the affections of Abraham, and control of posterity, but the very notion of truth and storytelling. This brilliant, bitter-comic love story asks awkward questions about the nature of love and faith, and incidentally throws new light on the motivations of our superior Being...

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About the Author:

Jenny Diski was born in 1947 in London. She is the author of eight novels, a collection of short stories, a book of essays, and SKATING TO ANTARCTICA, her acclaimed memoir. She now lives in Cambridge.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this inventive retelling of the Abraham and Sarah story, Diski (Skating to Antarctica) offers up a vain, "testy" God, who has created humanity in the hope of gaining insight into Himself. Instead, He feels shut out by his creations which is a pity, since they might benefit from his attention. Abram and Sarai, half-siblings married by their dynasty-conscious father, have trouble playing the roles they are allotted. The whole family is prone to fruitless soul-searching and spend their time grappling with the idea of death, occasionally sacrificing a lamb or defacing an idol to pass the time. The tale is mostly buildup, set during the period before the all-important birth of Isaac, and indeed is primarily meditation: Sarai thinks about love, Abram worries about the continuation of his lineage and God, who narrates half the book, broods on the disobedient inventiveness of His creations. When major events do occur (fueled by dialogue direct from the Bible), they progress at breakneck speed, as though the characters were in a hurry to return to their dreary contemplation of the human state. While billed as a "divine comedy," the novel lacks the raised eyebrow that makes other approaches to biblical stories Kierkegaard's, for example so successful. There are humorous moments, as when God grouses about humans taking "my exhortation to be fruitful and multiply to their hearts. Rather, to their loins." And the novel gives Sarai much more airtime than the Bible does, offering a refreshing, feminine perspective. As God and Sarai battle for Abram's affection, readers will inevitably take her side; the affectionate though fallible human is, unsurprisingly, much more appealing than the distant, irritable deity.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312305178: Only Human: A Divine Comedy

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ISBN 10:  0312305176 ISBN 13:  9780312305178
Publisher: Picador, 2002
Softcover

9780312280543: Only Human: A Divine Comedy

Picador, 2001
Hardcover

9781860498398: Only Human: A Comedy

Virago..., 2000
Hardcover

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Jenny Diski
Published by Virago Press Ltd (2001)
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