Jewish scholars built up the stories of Lilith and the nameless wife to explain inconsistencies and unexplained elements in the Genesis stories. The fullest version of Lilith's story comes from the medieval text the Alphabet of Ben Sira. The story of the nameless wife is presented in the Midrash. The nameless wife came between Lilith and Eve. As with Eve, God created the nameless wife from one of Adam's ribs, building her from the inside out. Adam watched the process and found the innards of the human body so disturbing that he rejected the woman. He couldn't forget what she looked like without skin. Some sources say God destroyed the second wife, others that He allowed her to leave Eden. God put Adam to sleep when He created Eve.
In Taaffe's story, the nameless wife is still with us, an immortal woman who roams the earth looking for men named Adam. Her relationships remain unfulfilled. A loving touch has horrific consequences and when she leaves, the men ultimately forget her. But she remembers all of them.
She left him as she had come to him, solitary, carrying nothing but the gathering weight of memory, her beauty and her immortality, and her despair.Taaffe touches on themes of memory and loneliness as she explores the horror and despair of the nameless one's wandering. The nameless wife might be immortal, but she is cursed with human needs that she can never quench but will always desire.
To learn more about Sonya Taaffe and her work, check out her website Myth Happens. “Moving Nameless” is the first story in King David and the Spiders from Mars. To win a paperback or ebook copy of the anthology, enter the May Giveaway: King David and the Spiders from Mars.