The Family Fang: A Novel by Kevin Wilson
from Ecco
New York Times Bestseller
Top Ten Fiction Books of 2011, TIME Magazine
Top Ten Books of 2011, Esquire
Top Ten Books of 2011, People Magazine
Best Fiction of 2011, Kirkus Reviews
Top 10 First Novels of 2011, Booklist
Selected by Amazon and Barnes and Noble for Best Books of 2011 Lists

Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art. Their children called it mischief.

Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist’s work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as along as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents’ madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents’ strange world.

When the lives they’ve built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance—their magnum opus—whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what’s ultimately more important: their family or their art.

Filled with Kevin Wilson’s endless creativity, vibrant prose, sharp humor, and keen sense of the complex performances that unfold in the relationships of people who love one another, The Family Fang is a masterfully executed tale that is as bizarre as it is touching.

“[A] bizarre, mirthful debut novel…leavened with humor.”
-Publishers Weekly, 4/4/2011 (Starred Review)

“A fantastic first novel that asks if the kids are alright, finding answers in the most unexpected places.”
-Kirkus Reviews, 4/15/2011 (Starred Review)

“Don’t be surprised if this becomes one of the most discussed novels of the year.”
-Booklist, 6/1/2011 (Starred Review)

The Family Fang packs a wallop…”
-The New York Times, 8/3/2011

“It’s such a minty fresh delight to open up Kevin Wilson’s debut novel, The Family Fang, and feel the revitalizing blast of original thought, robust invention, screwball giddiness…a family story that’s out-of-the-box, and funny, and, also, genuinely moving. Wilson’s inventive genius never stops for a rest break.”
-NPR’s Fresh Air, 8/8/2011

“Inventive and hilarious…This is complex psychological ground, and the 32-year-old Mr. Wilson navigates it with a calm experience that his tender age shouldn’t allow.”
-The Wall Street Journal, 8/6/2011

“A delightfully odd story…Wilson has an infectious fondness for the ridiculous and a good ear for muffled exasperation.”
-The Washington Post, 8/10/11

“Wilson writes with the studied quirkiness of George Saunders or filmmaker Wes Anderson.”
–Entertainment Weekly, 8/3/11

“[A] wildly original new novel…The Family Fang is bizarre, unique, unerringly comic, breathtakingly wonderful.”
-Miami Herald, 8/21/11

“Wilson’s writing has a Houdini-like perfection, wherein no matter how grim the variables, each lovely sentence manages to escape with all its parts intact…”
-Boston Globe, 8/21/11

“Kevin Wilson combines wit, intelligence and a brilliant understanding of the cracks in unconditional love… Surprising twists from a high-concept world embedded in plot so rich and complex it can only be defined as mastery…”
-The Examiner.com, 8/19/11

“A highly engaging and imaginative first novel…Wilson has a gift for characterization and dialogue.”
-Art in America, 6/20/2011

“As he did in Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, Kevin Wilson asks big questions with subtle humor and deep tenderness.”
-NPR.org, 5/30/2011

“Wild…. Kudos for wit and quirky imagination.”
-Christian Science Monitor, 5/29/2011

“Wilson…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.”
-Library Journal, 3/1/2011

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.  Like everything else Kevin Wilson does, I have never seen anything like it before.  The best single word description would be brilliant.”
-Ann Patchett, best-selling author of Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant, and Run

The Family Fang is such a unique work that turning each page feels like unearthing a discovery.  This is the kind of novel you fall in love with: tender-hearted, wonder-filled, a world all its own. And Kevin Wilson is the kind of writer you want to hug just for writing it, if only to be close to such talent, so rare and beautiful and big.”
-Josh Weil, author of The New Valley

“Kevin Wilson commands the cavalry riding around the vastly important Army of the Loopy.  This Army protects the less important Army of the Earnest.  He rides slashing from the Implausible to the Plausible, and from  there quickly to the Necessary and on to the True.  The command of this ride is wicked, clean,  and correct. The Family Fang will appear Coenized out of Hollywood but you should catch them here first.”
-Padgett Powell, author of EdistoAliens of Affection, and The Interrogative Mood

“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

Tunneling to the Center of the Earth

Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, a collection of stories by Kevin Wilson
from Ecco/Harper Perennial

Kevin Wilson’s characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. “Grand Stand-In” is narrated by an employee of a Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider—a company that supplies “stand-ins” for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents. And in “Blowing Up On the Spot,” a young woman works sorting tiles at a Scrabble factory after her parents have spontaneously combusted.

Southern gothic at its best, laced with humor and pathos, these wonderfully inventive stories explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both.

“The detonating qualities of strong emotion appear in several stories, but Wilson is equally preoccupied with the absurdity of his imagined modern world…Wilson’s true gift is for depicting the dangers of strong, complex emotions…Wilson’s protagonists are frequently survivors, marred and changed from their exposure to the world.  And when Wilson leaves behind his quirkiest conceits to focus on this more subtle material, his work shimmers…Wilson offers fabulous twists and somersaults of the imagination…As Wilson continues to dig into the texture and mystery of the world, his fiction should grow, like his best characters, in strange and remarkable ways.”
-New York Times Book Review, 4/5/2009

“A Southern writer with a bent sense of humor offers a fine debut collection of stories, some unlike anything you’ve read before. Wilson displays a marvelous sense of narrative ingenuity…Weird and wonderful stories from a writer who has that most elusive of gifts: new ideas.”
-Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review), 2/15/2009

“These 11 stories, by turns hilarious and elegiac, unfold like delicious, ripened dreams, and then abruptly explode into nightmares…Wilson does a spectacular job of maneuvering between voices and worlds, and in the process delivers a wide, convincingly erratic range of human emotion. To write such masterful stories takes a graceful eye, and, even more, a compassionate heart. Wilson has both. His disturbing, moving tales burrow their way under our skin and stay there.”
-Time Out New York, 4/6/2009

“…captivating debut…a lively landscape with rich and twisted storytelling…fresh and darkly comic”
-Publishers Weekly, 12/1/2008

“The world of Kevin Wilson’s Tunneling to the Center of the Earth is at once familiar and new. The stories are set in a believable though exaggerated America of martial arts video games, Scrabble factories, sideshow acts, and spontaneous combustion. With their absurdist elements, these oddball tales recall the fiction of Steven Millhauser and George Saunders.”
Boston Globe – 4/9/2009

“Wilson’s little time-bomb fables have a surrealist zip, like miniature Magritte paintings come to life.”
Washington Post – 7/8/2009

“A dazzling and important new writer.”
-Ann Patchett, best-selling author of Bel Canto and Run

“Kevin Wilson is the unholy child of George Saunders and Carson McCullers. Bow your heads! Jesus Christ is this guy good.”
-Owen King, author of We’re All In This Together