May 3, 2011 In his forthcoming novel, The Family Fang, due on shelves in August, Sewanee novelist Kevin Wilson tells the story of “a strange family of performance artists,” as he put it in an an interview with Chapter 16‘s Susannah Felts last February. “The parents have basically forced their children to take part in their artistic projects and that has, understandably, messed up the kids. The children are now adults and not succeeding in their own lives, and circumstances force them to return to their parents. And then things get worse for them.”
Now that the publication date imminent, the national media is beginning to take notice of the novel’s fascinating premise, as well. In an interview in this week’s issue of Publisher’s Weekly, Wilson explains how the birth of his son, Griff, influenced his own work and that of his wife, poet Leigh Anne Couch: “One of the things that Leigh Anne and I like about ourselves is our writing. We had our son, Griff, and I had a novel to write, and I thought, ‘This is going to kill me.’ I worried that I would never write anything again because this kid would take over our lives. And he has taken over our lives! Yet the writing is important enough to us that we stick with it. Children do have the potential to kill art. But now I think they kill the bad art. At least that is what my son has done for me.”
Does Wilson worry that his own kid will turn out like the resentful Fang children? Not really: “I hope that if our family is so strange, then the strangeness of the outside world won’t faze him. I hope not to ruin our son, but I also appreciate the fact that he could end up being an idiosyncratic, strange person. That is A-okay with me.” Read the full interview here.
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