Set on a magical island where women rule and men are the second sex, Why God Is a Woman is the story of a boy who, exiled from the island because he could not abide by its sexist laws, looks back with both nostalgia and bitterness and wonders: Why does God have to be a woman? Celebrated prose poet Nin Andrews creates a world both fantastic and familiar in which gender roles are turned upside-down, and where all myths, logic, and institutions support the dominance of women.
On the Island where I come from
women rule. They run the country, control the wealth, and decide who will do what, why, and when. At the end of the day, when the sun sinks in to the sea, the women leave their offices behind and go out on the town to enjoy what is known as the women’s hour. In bars, restaurants, and spas designed for women only, they relax and let out a sigh as the day’s thoughts and fears rush off their skin like water. There they linger as day fades from the sky, chatting among themselves, making occasional cracks about the guys. Men, they say, are such incomplete souls. They don’t even know how to love, they say as they grow calm in the light of their minds before returning to their homes: their men, their children, their dogs.
"Nin Andrews’s Why God Is a Woman explores a female utopia in which Friedan’s ‘feminine mystique’ would never have had to be contemplated. But on this island in which multiple orgasms, childbirth, and multitasking are prized and rewarded, what will happen to the men who ‘are designed for domesticity,’ spending countless hours ‘preening in front of the bathroom mirror’ dreaming of their wedding day, only to be stalked and harassed with predatory women trying ‘to get into (their) trousers?’ A revolutionary, Andrews writes a social satire that is magical, compassionate, and full of flight—with men and boys being judged by their ‘wingspan.’ Will God show true compassion? Andrews’s Why God Is a Woman is a tour de force by one of America's leading poets."—Denise Duhamel
"On the island in Why God Is a Woman not only does every woman look like Angelina Jolie, but they take her name as their own. Men are winged objects of beauty, and those with the widest span are the most sought after. This is a place—and a story—populated by personages like Dolly Delita, world-famous man-trainer, and Julio Vega, the beauty king who was also the first man to run for president. The rules of our world have been inverted within the mirror Nin Andrews holds up for us, and never have we looked more strange and fabulous."—Christopher Barzak
"On the island where I grew up—Virginia in the 1960s—mothers told their daughters, ‘it’s a man’s world.’ Nin Andrews stands that world on its head, throwing its absurdities into sharp and witty relief. But her poems are for men as well as women, inviting us all to re-imagine love, desire, death, and visions of paradise."—Anne-Marie Slaughter
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2015