The nation is in the iron claw of capitalism, Christianity’s basic principles are flouted daily, the South has won the Civil War, slavery is widespread, exploitation rampant, and God—now working as a janitor at Tastee Freez with late-onset Alzheimer’s—is rapidly losing the plot. In an effort to obliterate his botched creation from memory, the fallen divinity recruits retail worker Brad Power to enlist a crew of twelve for a seafaring adventure. The mission? To uninvent America.
It’s never too late, apparently, for an act of creative destruction.
A delirious cousin to Kathy Acker’s Pussy, King of the Pirates and reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s Valis and Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, Momus’ UnAmerica remodels a classic, charmingly naive sixth century Christian tale—The Voyage of Saint Brendan—for the twenty-first century. Reworking the Irish monastic Wonder Voyage formula, Momus adds anachronistic brio and slapstick humor to the genre’s wooden-faced didacticism.
“Momus has done a workmanlike job of grounding age-old utopian desires into a modern, ironic framework… If Momus’ words are at all divinely inspired we have to take heart in the sociopolitical insight that the new age of Enlightenment will not begin from the familiar landmass we know as North America.”
“[UnAmerica] is broadly horizontal in its orientation; it describes a great breadth of images while delving deeply into very few of them. The approach is that of a latter-day White Noise; if DeLillo inserted advertising slogans in the middle of the occasional paragraph.”
“The satire of the early passages of the book is of almost fractal involution, so dense that it almost conceals the most appalling point of all… The terrain of UnAmerica is all too recognizably twenty-first century America: what Momus is telling us is that we are living in a world where the South Won.”
“Momus has given a prefix to a powerful nation, changing the landmass name and how it serves as an adjective for its people.”
—The Irish Times
He has released thirty albums of pop music on independent labels including 4AD, Creation and Cherry Red. Brought up in Edinburgh, Currie lived in cities like Athens and Montréal as a child thanks to his father’s work as a linguist. Since graduating from Aberdeen University with a first in literature in the mid-1980s, Momus has spent thirteen years in London, two in Paris, two in New York, one in Tokyo, eight in Berlin and three in Osaka, where he currently lives.
He’s written journalism for Wired, The New York Times, and a variety of art publications including Frieze, Art in America and Spike. His other novels include The Book of Jokes (2009, Dalkey Archive Press), The Book of Scotlands (2009, Sternberg) and The Book of Japans (2011, Sternberg). As a performance artist he’s best known for his Unreliable Tours and Emotional Lectures.