Currie, Ron, Jr. 1975- (Ronald F. Currie, Jr.)

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Currie, Ron, Jr. 1975- (Ronald F. Currie, Jr.)

PERSONAL:

Born 1975, in Waterville, ME. Education: Attended college. Hobbies and other interests: Fishing, watching baseball, playing basketball, travel.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Waterville, ME. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Worked as a cook in restaurants.

WRITINGS:

God Is Dead, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of stories to periodicals, including Glimmer Train, Other Voices, Night Train, Harpour Palate, and the Sun.

SIDELIGHTS:

In his first novel, God Is Dead, author Ron Currie, Jr., presents a satire revolving around God coming to earth as a Dinka woman from Sudan. However, God is powerless to change anything due to the overriding power of mindless bureaucracy, and she ultimately dies on the battlefield in the Darfur desert. When word of God's death spreads, the world is set on edge as people try to cope in various ways, from a group fearing the end of the world to parents who turn to worshipping their children in place of God. The author also tells the tale of two armies (the Evolutionary Psychologist Forces and the Postmodern Anthropologist Marines) doing battle based on their beliefs in fate and free will.

"God Is Dead is a heady cocktail of ideas," wrote Michael Faber in the London Guardian. "Broad-stroke symbolism and delicately shaded realism are swished together with admirable aplomb." Faber noted in his review that the novel is actually a series of vignettes or short stories. He also commented that the author avoids many of the pitfalls of less accomplished satirists, noting: "Currie takes great care with surface detail, makes sure his characters appear to have nuanced interpersonal relationships and that their conversations rarely lapse into mere mouthings of themes."

In an interview with Sarah Woehler Michaud on the Bookslut Web site, the author noted that when he came up with the idea for his book he "was really exulting in the absolute freedom that fiction … allows." The author went on to explain: "My brain was popping with all these crazy, improbable ideas, and I had a blast trying to string them all together in the same book. I wanted to recreate the experience of wanting to read a book over and over. And of course Nietzsche said famously ‘God is dead,’ but my book is much more in the spirit of a line from [Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel] The Brothers Karamazov: ‘If God is dead, then everything is permitted.’ Now that's a fun premise to work from."

In his book, the author essentially presents nine different stories featuring people trying to come to terms with God's death. One story features Colin Powell, who meets God while she is still alive. In another tale, a man goes to confront his brother, who has beaten people to death using a statue of the Virgin Mary. Still another tale features one of the feral dogs who fed on God's corpse. God Is Dead has received widespread praise from critics. Referring to the book as "abrasively funny," a Kirkus Reviews contributor went on to write that the author "builds momentum expertly." Ryan Call, writing for the Quarterly Conversation Web site, called God Is Dead "a moving, intelligent work of fiction that gives us a refreshing, if dismal, perspective on our modern plight."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Entertainment Weekly, July 13, 2007, Vanessa Juarez, review of God Is Dead, p. 73.

Guardian (London, England), June 28, 2007, Michael Farber, review of God Is Dead.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of God Is Dead.

Publishers Weekly, April 16, 2007, review of God Is Dead, p. 27.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), June 2, 2007, Kristin Kloberdanz, review of God Is Dead, p. 7.

ONLINE

Believer,http://www.believermag.com/ (February 17, 2008), Andrew Ervin, review of God Is Dead.

BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (February 17, 2008), Thane Tierney, "Debut Novelist: Ron Currie Jr.," review of God Is Dead.

Bookslut,http://www.bookslut.com/ (February 17, 2008), Drew Nellins, review of God Is Dead; Sarah Woehler Michaud, "An Interview with Ron Currie Jr."

Litpark,http://litpark.com/ (August 31, 2006), Susan Henderson, "My Prize Winner: Ron Currie, Jr.," interview with author.

Quarterly Conversation,http://www.quarterlyconversation.com/ (February 17, 2008), Ryan Call, review of God Is Dead.

Ron Currie, Jr., MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/roncurriejr (February 17, 2008).

SmokeLong Quarterly,http://www.smokelong.com/ (February 17, 2008), "Smoking with Ron Currie, Jr.," interview with author.

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Currie, Ron, Jr. 1975- (Ronald F. Currie, Jr.)

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