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The Family Fangby Kevin Wilson
Synopses & Reviews
Annie and Buster Fang have spent most of their adult lives trying to distance themselves from their famous artist parents, Caleb and Camille. But when a bad economy and a few bad personal decisions converge, the two siblings have nowhere to turn but their family home. Reunited under one roof for the first time in more than a decade and surrounded by the souvenirs of their unusual upbringing, Buster and Annie are forced to confront not only their creatively ambitious parents, but the chaos and confusion of their childhood.
Written with tremendous heart, wit, and honesty, Kevin Wilson's The Family Fang is a "comedy, a tragedy, and a tour de force....The best single-word description would be genius" Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder).
"As he did in Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, Kevin Wilson asks big questions with subtle humor and deep tenderness." NPR.org
"What can you say for a novel about performance artists that begins 'Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art. Their children called it mischief'? ...That it's totally weird, and pretty wonderful. Most of all, that it manages to be brainy without sacrificing heart." O, the Oprah Magazine
"[A] bizarre, mirthful debut novel...leavened with humor." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"The premise of this book is so perfect I can't believe it hasn't been done before ...a hugely likable book — funny, colorful, and memorable, if not beautiful and strange....I read this book swiftly and compulsively, like sipping thirstily at a fruity cocktail on a hot summer evening." BookBrowse.com review
"[Family Fang] allows Wilson to dazzle and amuse us with some very inventive and provocatively imagined performance art." BookPage
"Kevin Wilson introduces The Family Fang, a winningly bizarre clan on the brink." Vanity Fair
"A highly engaging and imaginative first novel...Wilson has a gift for characterization and dialogue." Art in America
"Wild....Kudos for wit and quirky imagination." Christian Science Monitor
"The kids are not all right in this debut novel about a brother and sister poorly navigating the bizarre world of their parents — obsessive performance artists who force their children to participate in their kooky pieces." Los Angeles Magazine
"Kevin Wilson's novel, The Family Fang, was one of the most talked about titles at BEA...[The Family Fang has] the whimsy reminiscent of a Wes Anderson flick....Wilson pulls the fuzzy line between art and life very taut." Publishers Weekly Fall Preview: Top Ten Literary Fiction
"I recently read Kevin Wilson's novel The Family Fang , which is so strange and original and hysterically funny. It's about a husband and wife who are performance artists and force their young children to be part of their art project. It's a book like nothing else." Ann Patchett, Time Magazine
"It's The Royal Tenenbaums meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I'd call The Family Fang a guilty pleasure, but it's too damn smart. Here, finally, is a much needed reminder that astute fiction can still be a total blast." Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way
"Wilson writes stylishly...but his real skill is...building up a slow-drip mystery....And [this] isn't the kind of book you [can] set aside....(I'm looking at you, Swamplandia!) It's the kind of book in which you need to know what happens...It's not what you think." Esquire, 10 Best Books of 2011
"For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel." —Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier, in a whip-smart novel sparkling with the dark and giddy pop culture pleasures of The Shining, Agatha Christie, and Glee
Heir to A Confederacy of Dunces and Being There, Panorama City is a wildly entertaining and surreptitiously moving novel about a self-described "slow absorber" named Oppen Porter, who records everything he thinks his unborn son will find useful in becoming a man of the world.
Owen King (We're All in This Together) calls author Kevin Wilson, "the unholy child of George Saunders and Carson McCullers." With his novel, The Family Fang, the Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth comes through in a BIG way, with a funny, poignant, laugh-and-cry-out-loud (sometimes at the same time) novel about the art of surviving a masterpiece of dysfunction. Meet The Family Fang, an unforgettable collection of brilliant, and absolutely endearing oddballs whose lives are risky and mischievous performance art. If the writing of Gary Shteyngart, Miranda July, Scarlett Thomas, and Charles Yu excites you, you"ll certainly want to invite this Family into your home.
Oppen Porter thinks hes dying. (Hes not.)
From his hospital bed, with tape recorder in hand, he unspools his tale for the benefit of his unborn son, the tale of his forty-day journey from innocence to experience, from self-described “slow absorber” to man of the world.
This is his “astonishing,”* “laugh-aloud funny,”** “crisp,”*** “delightful,”**** “indelible”***** story.
*Los Angeles Review of Books
**Cleveland Plain Dealer
***San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Kevin Wilson is the author of the collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/HarperPerennial, 2009), which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award. His fiction has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year's Best anthology, and he has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he teaches fiction at the University of the South and lives with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his son, Griff.
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