The Family Fang

The Family Fang

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. but now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world. When the lives they've built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowwhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance--their magnum opus--whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what's ultimately more important: their family or their art.
Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 309 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780061579035
Branch Call Number: Wils
Additional Contributors: Wilson, Kevin, 1978- Family Fang


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 24, 2019

Totally quirky fun read. Told from different perspectives. Jumps between decades of when the Fang children were young, and then as adults.

Jan 01, 2019

Hmmmm. Bizarre?

Totally not what I was expecting. The humour was dry. The narrative disjointed. Sparse character development.

I felt by reading this book I was taking part in an odd artistic literary installation by Kevin Wilson. Life imitating art imitating life imitating art. Perhaps that was the point but it may have gone somewhat over my head.

I thought this story would be about a whacky but loveable family but it is really more of a tragic comedy. Caleb & Camille are performance artists who have made a living thanks to various grants & raised their children as part of the act. Now in their late twenties Annie & Buster are having a hard time functioning in the real world. Forced by circumstance to return to the family home, Annie & Buster are expected to take part in yet another piece of public art but now they begin to rebel. I found myself really rooting for Annie & Buster. I felt that their parents had abused them in a way. That they come out ahead makes for a very good story. If you like stories about whacky but loveable families try the Spellman series by Lisa Lutz – they run a detective agency & manage to make each other miserable in the most fun way. (submitted by LL)

Aug 24, 2018

Engrossing, funny, dark and highly original.

Dec 03, 2014

starts off kinda slowly but picks up about a third of the way through...then kinda tapers off again :/ fun, fairly quick read.

Dec 03, 2014

Annie and Buster have starred in their parent’s very public, quite embarrassing performance art since childhood. Now grown, their parents are missing – hoax or murder? Annie and Buster narrate this frequently funny book, which also examines family relations and the ways grown children establish and assert their individual identity.

Sep 28, 2012

great book!
I was a bit discouraged by the negative comments I read here and on goodreads, but I'm so glad I read it anyway. I didn't see those things as "negatives" at all.

unicorncafe Sep 22, 2012

LOVED this book. It reminds me of a Wes Anderson film. It was bizarre and hilarious and I was sad when I finished it because I wanted to keep reading. Read this book.

Aug 15, 2012

This is a great book of short stories. It could easily be made into an indie film. There were times where I felt the book lacked some direction and I wasn't that enthusiastic about the ending. However, it's a decent summer read.

Aug 10, 2012

An odd but engaging book. The family Fang revolves around performance art. The children are eventually forced to choose between family and art.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Jun 28, 2014

You are very sweet," she told him after a year of dating, as they shared dessert at a restaurant, "but it's like your family trained you to react to the world in a way that was so specific to their art that you don't know how to interact with people in the real world. You act like every conversation is just a buildup to something awful.

Jul 18, 2012

He would teach himself to dislike what he actually liked, to approve of what he did not totally understand, in the hopes that he would come out the other side with something that resembled inspiration, something that would make him more famous than Chris Burden or even Hobart Waxman.

Jul 03, 2012

It had all been fake, a choreographed event, but they could not escape the dread that rattled inside their chests. It was a testament to their proficiency and talent as artists. They had affected themselves with the authenticity of the moment.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top