The premise of this book is so perfect I can't believe it hasn't been done before. Kevin Wilson takes performance art, which is meant to disrupt the everyday, and applies it to that most hidebound of institutions, the American middle-class family. The possibilities are so deliciously ripe.
Initially, it appears that what the Fang family does is disrupt public spaces with their art. They stage performances in malls, parks, and restaurants. They make use of the captive audience inside an airplane on a flight home from a Florida vacation when Caleb Fang, posing as Ronnie Fang, commandeers the intercom and asks his "girlfriend," Grace Truman, to marry him. "Oh, Ronnie," Camille Fang responds, "I told you not to do this." She says no, and for the rest of the flight the passengers are, as a group, tense and uncommunicative. Even the Fangs "could not escape the dread that rattled inside ...
About the Author
Kevin Wilson was born, raised, and still lives in Tennessee. His writing has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Tin House, The Greensboro Review, Oxford American, The Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. His work has twice been included in the New Stories from the South: The Year's Best anthology (2005, 2006). He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. A graduate of the MFA program at the University of Florida, he currently teaches fiction at The University of the South and helps run the Sewanee Writers' Conference. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife, poet Leigh Anne Couch, and their son, Griff Fodder-Wing Wilson.
Photo credit: Leigh Anne Couch
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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