Ask a bookseller

Ask a Bookseller: ‘Is God Is’

Ask a Bookseller Podcast
Ask a Bookseller

How often do you settle down to read a play? Blake Worthey of Two Friends Bookstore in Bentonville, Ark., recommends the genre. Specifically, he suggests Aleshea Harris’s play “Is God Is,” which he says is so vividly written, with characters that leap off the page, that he definitely felt like he “went somewhere” in the reading.

Is God Is
"Is God Is" by Aleshea Harris.
Courtesy of Nick Hern Books

It’s a revenge play, complete with body count, and as with the best revenge plays, the tale has a “deeply defensible” protagonist, Worthey says.

The play follows twin sisters, survivors of a fire that left one of them burnt from the neck down and the other from the neck up.

Now grown, they hear from their mother, whom they thought had died in the fire. She sends them on a mission to kill their father, whom she says is the arsonist. The girls call the mother “God.”

For Worthey, a key takeaway from the play was “Where does feminine anger go? Being angry as a man has some productive value. But given how society is set up, a woman being angry and then acting on that anger is necessarily anti-establishment, it’s necessarily anti patriarchy."

Without spoilers, he adds, “the ending creates the best possible story, even though it doesn’t maybe go in a way that it was set up to ... You don’t feel good in the way that you expect to.”