American Interior: The quixotic journey of John Evans, his search for a lost tribe and how, fuelled by fantasy and (possibly) booze, he accidentally annexed a third of North America
Hardback $39.99 - Penguin UK
Travel - Published: 23/Jul/2014 - ISBN: 9780241146019
In 1792, John Evans, a twenty-two-year-old farmhand from Snowdonia, Wales, travelled to America to discover whether there was, as widely believed, a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe - The Madogwys - still walking the Great Plains.
During the course of an extraordinary adventure, Evans wrestled the largest river reptiles ever seen in the Mississippi, hunted bison with the Omaha tribe, defected to the Spanish in St Louis, annexed North Dakota from the British, and created the map that guided Lewis and Clark on their legendary expedition.
In the summer of 2012, Gruff Rhys - himself a distant relative of Evans - retraced the explorer's route through the heart of the continent by means of an 'Investigative Concert Tour TM' - a series of solo gigs accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar, a PowerPoint presentation and a three-foot high felt avatar of John Evans.
Brilliantly documenting both men's odysseys, American Interior explores how wild fantasies interact with hard history, and how myth-making can inspire humans to partake in crazy, vain pursuits of glory, including exploration, war and the creative arts.
'An extremely tall story on an epic scale.' Guardian
Gruff Rhys is known around the world for his work as a solo artist as well as singer and songwriter with Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon, and for his collaborations with Gorillaz, Mogwai, Dangermouse and Sparklehorse amongst others. The latest album by Neon Neon, Praxis Makes Perfect, based on the life of radical Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, was recently performed as an immersive live concert with National Theatre Wales.
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