Tonight's family is the Fang family, parents Camille and Caleb, legendary performance artists, along with their children, Annie (Child A) and Buster (Child B). As children, Annie and Buster were part of their parents' strange artistic displays, a sort of creating public chaos and recording the results, but they are grown now and wanting some space from the family projects.
However (and isn't there always a "however"?), circumstances of life made it so that Buster had to go home to recover from an unfortunate potato gun accident, and his sister's minor breakdown makes it a good time for her to get away as well. Suddenly the whole family is back together and having to figure out what art means to each of them. Buster, now an author of two novels, and Annie, an Academy Award nominated actress, and their parents each need to find their own artistic voices and learn to express those voices in ways that they can all accept.
Kevin Wilson's novel The Family Fang is a stirring and humorous look at family life as it overlaps with work and art. When your childhood is a performance, how much of your adult life belongs to you? Wilson answers this question with style and grace is this look at the complex relationships in families and the bonds that help us heal and grow.
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not loving it, but I am enjoying it. There are lots of complex emotions here, questions about the line between including children in your art and overstepping boundaries, questions about the sacrifices we make for the ones we love, questions about loyalty and respect and the importance of art. It's a good book, but it asks some very difficult questions, and for me, it was more of a painful experience than I was looking for.