The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

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Synopsis

The Family Fang is a comedy, a tragedy, and a tour-de-force examination of what it means to make art and survive your family….The best single word description would be brilliant.”
—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

“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….A total blast.”
—Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way

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 demanding, 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.

 

About Kevin Wilson

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Kevin Wilson is the author of the collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, the Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere, and has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year's Best anthology. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his son, Griff, where he teaches fiction at the University of the South and helps run the Sewanee Writers' Conference.
 
Published August 9, 2011 by Ecco. 325 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Family Fang

The New York Times

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So as “The Family Fang” begins, Mr. Wilson shows just how badly the adult Annie and Buster have been damaged by Fang ideas of fun.

Aug 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

BC Books

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But when the police contact Annie and let her know they have found their vehicle surrounded by blood, Annie and Buster begin to wonder.

Oct 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

NPR

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For years, they've been videotaping transgressive improvisational pieces that involve their children, Annie and Buster, known to fans of "Fang Art" as "Child A" and "Child B."To give an example: In a 1985 piece called "The Last Supper," the Fangs take their then-young kids to the most expensive F...

Aug 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Examiner

The entire existence of Annie and Buster Fang can be defined by the following quote: "Children are not guaranteed the luxuries of family...

Dec 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

New York Journal of Books

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It also reminds the reader that, just a quarter of a century ago, what today we would call terrorism was then still referred to as “art.”Throughout this otherwise lively book, we read detailed accounts of many of the Fangs’ art pieces—too many, actually—with the novel’s structure of alternating a...

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Entertainment Weekly

Despite its title, The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson's first novel is not about a household of suburban vampires or werewolves.

Aug 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Pajiba

The pieces escalate and include Annie and Buster being aggressively heckled and Buster being forced to enter a beauty queen contest in drag.

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Denver Post

We begin to see more clearly, as Annie has been claiming all along, that they're self-absorbed people who view their children — referred to rather coldly as Child A and Child B — as props in something more important than mere family.

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

About.com Bestsellers

The Family Fang was published August 9, 2011 Publisher: Ecco 320 pages Can art really be art for the sake of art?

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Chron.com

Caleb and Camille Fang are performance artists who create public spectacles, often at shopping malls in the American south.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Bookmarks Magazine

Molly Young Houston Chronicle 4 of 5 Stars "The Family Fang--and, really, I cannot believe I am about to type this--is almost a mash-up of The Addams Family and The Man Who Loved Children, Christina Stead's sharp, unblinking look at the politics of a cataclysmically broken family.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Time Out Chicago

But for Annie and Buster Fang, whose parents, Caleb and Camille, are conceptual performance artists, the problem is that they get dragged into their parents’ world too often.

Aug 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Fiction Writers Review

That’s what makes this novel so much more than a joke.” Maslin closes her wonderful review of the book with the following: Although Mr. Wilson sometimes hints too neatly at where his book is headed, he manages to make the final stages genuinely shocking.

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

Full Stop

Wilson possesses the rare ability to create art within art that manages to feel both fantastic and believable.

Sep 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Family Fang

The Kenyon Review

Alternating between chapters that follow the Fang’s reunion and flashbacks exploring the Fangs’ past performances, The Family Fang builds a complex portrait of the Fangs as artists, parents, and children.

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Reader Rating for The Family Fang
70%

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