An Interview with 'The Family Fang' author Kevin Wilson

February 16, 2012

“The Family Fang” author Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson has the book world buzzing for a reason.  A pair of them, actually.  Back in 2009, the Tennessee native hit the lit scene with Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, an artful, mischievous short-story collection that nabbed him a 2010 Alex Award.  Now Wilson is back with his first novel The Family Fang, and the critics are raving.  Comic, tragic, and endlessly inventive, The Family Fang tells the madcap tale of siblings Annie and Buster as they return to their childhood home after years spent avoiding their performance artist parents Caleb and Camille.  For Annie – a movie actress shamed by an Internet nudity scandal – and Buster – a novelist nearly brained in a potato gun mishap – their reluctant homecoming is born from a desperate need to nurse their wounds in seclusion.  Their parents, however, couldn’t be happier to have them back.  After years of casting their kids as the stars in their Candid Camera-style stunts, Caleb and Camille have plans for one final family performance that might not actually be a performance at all.  Named a Top Ten Book of 2011 by TIME Magazine, Esquire, and BooklistThe Family Fang has been described by Ann Patchett as “a tour-de-force examination of what it means to make art and survive your family… I have never seen anything like it before.  The best single word description would be genius.”  Mr. Wilson recently spoke with us via email about the positive response to The Family Fang, novels vs. short stories, the tricky business of parenting, “true” art, Nicole Kidman as Camille Fang, and, of course, potato guns.

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