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Journal of No. 118


February 17th, 2015

The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson @ 01:34 pm


The family that creates performance art together, breaks apart together. Wait, that sorta rhymes, but doesn't quite work.

The Fangs, mother and father, are somewhat extreme performance artists, and they get their son and daughter involved in the act. Probably the most fun the author had was coming up with performance art ideas that are one giant leap beyond sensible. Unfortunately, some of them are zany enough that it's hard to take seriously. The novel leaps back and forth, primarily between artworks involving their children -- indeed, shamelessly exploiting their children -- and many years later, when the children have grown up and left home, left performance art (happily) behind, and are trying to deal with forging their own lives in the shadow of their parents, who always prioritized art over family. A good mix of funny and serious, and the novel made its way onto a fair number of top ten lists for 2011, and will soon(?) be making its way to theaters near you.

Probably because I've known a few Fangs, my initial mental image of the family was Asian American, though the context of the novel slowly eroded this. Sort of a peculiar feeling.

BookChallenge scorecard:

became a movie (soon)
written by someone under 30 (close, 32)
funny book
with a love triangle (maybe?)
by an author you've never read
 
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Journal of No. 118