It was parenthood that inspired Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang (Ecco). He explains, "My wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and I had our first kid, Griff, right before I started this book. The first year of Griff's life was so hard; I felt like I couldn't do anything right, that I was ruining him. And so I thought about a family that might have a more overt, bizarre way of ruining their children than the way I had been doing it, which was through sheer incompetence and worry. Basically, I created the Fang family as a way to make myself feel a little better about my skills as a parent."
The protagonists of the novel, brother and sister Buster and Annie Fang, have been a kind of performance art project for their parents their entire lives and pawns in humiliating public stunts. (At age nine, Buster was forced to wear a gown and subvert a beauty pageant.) When their parents disappear, the two siblings try to determine whether they're dead or whether this is just another part of the performance.
Wilson, who is represented by Julie Barer at Barer Literary, is also the author of the story collection Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Harper Perennial, 2009). Editorial director Lee Boudreaux says, "The magic of Kevin Wilson is that he never does what you expect him to. Every sentence ends with a turn of phrase or a piercing little insight that you simply didn't see coming."