Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson (FIC WILSON)

Reviewers have compared The Family Fang to other dysfunctional, quirky families like those in The Royal Tenenbaums or Arrested Development, and that’s what initially drew me to the book. But unlike the Tennenbaums or the Bluths, the Fangs are a family that exists for one purpose only: to create the bizarre and disruptive performance art pieces devised by parents Caleb and Camille. In their single minded drive to make their art, Caleb and Camille neglect to acknowledge that the subjects of their art, Child A and Child B (Annie and Buster) are also individuals in their own right. As adults, they return home, broken in ways they can’t seem to fix on their own, only to be confronted by the disappearance of their parents (which could either be an art piece or a violent abduction) and the dawning realization of their role in their parents lives. I loved the brother/sister relationship, and seeing how Annie, an actress, and Buster, a writer, work to incorporate their upbringing into their own art while attempting to distance themselves from the damaging impact it had. There is a lot to talk about here: What is art? Do children kill art, as one character suggests, or as he later muses, is the opposite true, that art kills children? What is a parent’s responsibility to a child, or siblings to one another? The Family Fang would be a great book club choice as there is certain to be a diversity of opinions about the book. – Review by Heather

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2011 by in Book Review, Contemporary, Fiction.
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