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The family Fang
Kevin Wilson
Adult Fiction WILSON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Wilson's bizarre, mirthful debut novel (after his collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth) traces the genesis of the Fang family, art world darlings who make "strange and memorable things." That is, they instigate and record public chaos. In one piece, "The Portrait of a Lady, 1988," fragile nine-year-old Buster Fang dons a wig and sequined gown to undermine the Little Miss Crimson Clover beauty pageant, though he secretly desires the crown himself. In "A Modest Proposal, July 1988," Buster and his older sister, Annie, watch their father, Caleb, propose to mother, Camille, over an airliner's intercom and get turned down ("[A] plane crash would have been welcomed to avoid the embarrassment of what had happened"). Over the years, more projects consume Child A and Child B-what art lovers (and their parents) call the children-but it is not until the parents disappear from an interstate rest stop that the lines separating art and life dissolve. Though leavened with humor, the closing chapters still face hard truths about family relationships, which often leave us, like the grown-up Buster and Annie, wondering if we are constructing our own lives, or merely taking part in others'. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Caleb and Camille Fang are performance artists who set up unsettling situations in public places. Their two children, Annie and Buster, have been trained from birth to participate in these events. As they mature the children realize that their lives are not exactly normal. Their attempts to break away from their parents are unsuccessful until their parents disappear. Is it a stunt or a tragic accident? Even Annie and Buster can't say for sure. VERDICT Wilson, who won the 2009 Shirley Jackson Award for his story collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, tells his madcap story with straight-faced aplomb, highlighting the tricky intersection of family life and artistic endeavor. All fiction readers will enjoy this comic/tragic look at domesticity. Recommended.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Kingston (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Caleb Fang
Male
Married
Performance artist

Camille Fang
Female
Married
Performance artist

Buster Fang
Male
Annie's brother; had a dysfunctional childhood.

Annie Fang
Female
Buster's sister; had a dysfunctional childhood.



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