Fashion Book–The Family Fang
I read Kevin Wilson’s dazzling novel The Family Fang over Thanksgiving, and it was a perfect vacation read. Caleb and Camille Fang are renowned performance artists, obsessed with their idea of what constitutes “real art.” For them, this means staging situations in which the audience is forced to participate. For instance, they take their two young children, Annie and Buster (referred to for the sake of their performances simply as “A” and “B”) to a fancy French restaurant for dinner, with no explanation. The children are so nervous and terrified, not knowing what to expect, that Buster finally vomits all over the table. The family rushes away, Camille and Caleb triumphant at the “art” they’ve just made, completely unconcerned for their small son’s illness and fear.
All grown up, Annie and Buster find themselves lost and torn as to how to react when their parents disappear inexplicably. They are forced to confront their own ideas of family, of art, and of happiness. The book is darkly funny and thought-provoking. It’s also vastly entertaining–I read it in just a few days.
Annie, the older of the two siblings, is cynical and fiercely independent. She was a successful actress in Hollywood until she makes a series of bad decisions and lands back at home with Buster. This is what I see Annie wearing on a typical day in her surreal life.