Ron Currie is the author of the forethcoming The One-Eyed Man and the novels Everything Matters!, Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles and the short story collection God Is Dead, which was the winner of the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award. Currie received the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His books have been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in Portland, Maine.
A bleak dystopian future is tempered with moments of possibility in story writer Currie's debut novel, in which a sick and wounded Dinka woman arrives at a refugee camp in Darfur, searching for her lost brother. The woman is God, come to Earth in human form to make apologies to the Sudanese, over whose fate He is, "due to an implacable polytheistic bureaucracy, completely powerless." When God is gunned down, news of His death spreads quickly around the globe and provides the jumping-off point for the subsequent short story-like chapters that reveal what happens in a post-God world: suicide rates skyrocket (especially among clergy members), riots and mass looting erupt and the pack of feral dogs that feasted on God's corpse begin "speaking a mishmash of Greek and Hebrew" and inspiring worship among Africans. (Meanwhile, in America, the masses, seeking a deity to fill the void, begin worshipping children.) Looking at humanity through a warped lens allows the various narrators unusual insight; while sometimes overwrought, these observations are often striking, as when an enlightened dog describes the strange new experience of emotion. This novel-in-stories is unsettling and strange, but still easily accessible; despite the ways in which his world has changed, Currie's altered humanity has one foot in ours. (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Currie's strength rests in his ability to focus on humanity's
conundrums on the smallest physical particles. The truth he
presents is that the world has become adsurd; he is merely
delivering a steady-cam view."
--Los Angeles Times "[A] cavalierly abitious debut . . . with talking dogs, text message-happy teenagers, and end-of-day shenanigans. Like Kurt Vonnegut, [Currie] seems to understand that in the face of grim and grave concerns, humor is a more powerful salt than screed."
--John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle "Few authors would dare to depict the near rape and death of God amid a horrendous genocidal war, and fewer still could make it so bladder-threateningly hilarious. Although there's genuine sadness throughout, God is Dead is very likely the most entertaining book ever written on the subject of deicide."
--The Believer "God is Dead is a heady cocktail of ideas. Broad-stroke symbolism and delicately shaded realism are swished together with admirable aplomb. Currie's skills are equal to just about any technical challenge. [His] stoic poignancy [is] reminiscent of Raymond Carver. . . . The naturalistic texture of Currie's prose gives everything a scary ring of truth."
--Michel Faber, The Guardian (London) "In Currie's stories we come to know God as a feral dog and a genocide victim and Colin Powell as a foul-mouthed race warrior. It's not clear which is a greater leap of faith but this brillaiant, absurdist fiction lets us embrace them both with a shiver of empthay. I for one would be a happier camper, as the sun sets on the American empire, if more of my own contrymen wrote like Ron Currie."
--Lydia Millet, author of Oh Pure and Radiant Heart