UnAmerican Activities

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UnAmerican Activities is a novel made up of interlinked stories, by novelist and academic James Miller, which sets out to “subvert and pay homage to American pop culture and genre fiction, exploring the conspiracy theories and violence that defines the American everyday through a series of deranged and desperate narrators.”

Sam Mills, editor at Dodo Ink, said: “James Miller’s wild and wonderful novel reads like Jesus’s Son [short story collection by Denis Johnson] reimagined by Guillermo del Toro. It is an acerbic, hilarious novel – a satirical, surreal mishmash of the interconnecting fates of vampires, porn stars and religious fanatics and a portrait of the underbelly of American life.”

Thom Cuell, Dodo Ink m.d., said: “James is a great fit for Dodo Ink: politically-engaged, with a desire to subvert and shock, he is a writer we have long admired, and we are excited to be working with him.”

Alex Spears, marketing director, added: “The novel’s episodic structure lends itself well to an innovative digital marketing campaign that will draw readers into the richly imagined world he has created.”

Miller is a novelist and academic. His debut novel Lost Boys (Little, Brown) was published in 2008 and his second Sunshine State (Abacus) was published in 2010. Dodo Ink will publish UnAmerican Activities in spring 2017,

Extract from UnAmerican Activities

Earl sets the laptop on a table so everyone can watch. The footage is jerky – but it always is with these things - and it takes a moment to realise what we’re looking at: a highway, traffic at a halt, red rear view lights in one direction, yellow headlights in the other and above, a twilight sky, black-blue with traces of sunset lingering above a dark ridge. The audio is crackly but I can hear several excited voices and the camera swoops up, focusing on part of the sky and we see it. “Will you look at that!” Earl exclaims: on the screen, lights, lots of lights, swirling together and then coming apart, an ordered convergence-divergence that puts me in mind of jellyfish, signalling to each other - it’s beautiful, it’s undeniably beautiful and Mom calls out, “It’s them angels, it’s like I dreamt, angels in the sky hallelujah!” On the film we hear the voices of the people watching getting more excited and the screen briefly turns round to focus on the guy filming, his sweaty face looming large as he exclaims, “I don’t believe it!” It’s all blurry on the screen for a few seconds and when we swing back into focus it seems as if some of the lights are also rising from the ground but it’s hard to tell they’re so bright they distort the lens and as this is happening someone else can be heard saying, “My nose is bleeding” and someone else says “So is mine” and the guy filming shouts, “Get back to the car, quick” and then the screen goes dark.