The Family Fang

By Beth Dreher, Senior Editor, Reader’s Digest magazine from original
Family Fang book cover

If you think your family is weird, dysfunctional or both, you’ll want to pick up Kevin Wilson’s novel, The Family Fang. For nearly their entire lives, Child A and Child B—that is, Annie and Buster Fang—have willingly played their parts in the bizarre performance art pieces dreamed up by their parents, Camille and Caleb. The elaborate hoaxes occur in public places near the family’s Alabama home with the goal of creating confusion—and that’s exactly what Annie and Buster feel as they attempt to navigate an unpredictable world as adults after a childhood of orchestrated fantasy. Camille and Caleb’s final performance, a piece de resistance both brave and destructive, reveals their stunning yet inevitable choice of art over family. In his debut novel, Wilson creates a portrait of family that is strange, modern, intriguing—it’s a story that will feel familiar to anyone who has felt torn between the love of those around them and the creative possibilities that lie beyond it.