Author bio

Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson - book author

Kevin Wilson was born, raised, and still lives in Tennessee. His writing has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Greensboro Review, The Oxford American, 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 KHN 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.

Kevin Wilson is the author of books: The Family Fang, Perfect Little World, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories, Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine: Stories, Nothing to See Here, So Dark in the Wolf's Maw (chapbook), xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories: 2012, Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts, New Stories from the South 2010: The Year's Best


Author books

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Title
Description
01
Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art.

Their children called it mischief.

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 nowhere 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.
02
When Isabelle Poole meets Dr. Preston Grind, she's just about out of options. She recently graduated from high school and is pregnant with her art teacher's baby. Her mother is dead and her father is a drunk. The art teacher is too much of a head-case to help raise the child. Izzy knows she can be a good mother but without any money or prospects, she's left searching.

So when Dr. Grind offers her a space in The Infinite Family Project, she accepts. Housed in a spacious compound in Tennessee, she joins nine other couples, all with children the same age as her newborn son, to raise their children as one extended family. Grind's theory is that the more parental love a child receives, the better off they are.

This attempt at a utopian ideal-funded by an eccentric billionaire-starts off promising: Izzy enjoys the kids, reading to them and teaching them to cook. She even forms a bond with her son more meaningful than she ever expected. But soon the gentle equilibrium among the families is upset and it all starts to disintegrate: unspoken resentments between the couples begin to fester; the project's funding becomes tenuous; and Izzy's feelings for Dr. Grind, who is looking to expunge his own painful childhood, make her question her participation in this strange experiment in the first place.

Written with the same compassionate voice, disarming sense of humor, and quirky charm that made The Family Fang such a success, Perfect Little World is a poignant look at how the best families are the ones we make for ourselves.
03
Kevin Wilson's characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. "Grand Stand-In" is narrated by an employee of a Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider—a company that supplies "stand-ins" for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents. And in "Blowing Up On the Spot," a young woman works sorting tiles at a Scrabble factory after her parents have spontaneously combusted.

Southern gothic at its best, laced with humor and pathos, these wonderfully inventive stories explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both.
04
“Wildfire Johnny” is the story of a man who discovers a magic razor that allows him to travel back in time. “Scroll Through the Weapons” is about a couple taking care of their underfed and almost feral nieces and nephews. “Signal to the Faithful” follows a boy as he takes a tense road trip with his priest. And “Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine,” the title story, is about a narcissistic rock star who moves back home during a rough patch. These stories all build on each other in strange and remarkable ways, showcasing Wilson’s crackling wit and big heart.

Filled with imagination and humor, Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine is an exuberant collection of captivating and charmingly bizarre stories that promise to burrow their way into your heart and soul.

 
05
Kevin Wilson’s best book yet—a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities

Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.

Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.
07
Fifty leading writers retell myths from around the world in this dazzling follow-up to the bestselling My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me

Icarus flies once more. Aztec jaguar gods again stalk the earth. An American soldier designs a new kind of Trojan horse—his cremains in a bullet. Here, in compelling guise, are your favorite mythological figures—Narcissus and Echo, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pygmalion and Galatea, even Argos, Odysseus’s faithful dog—alongside characters from Indian, Punjabi, Inuit, and other traditions. Featuring talkative goats, a cat lady, a bird woman, a beer-drinking ogre, and a squid who falls in love with the sun, these are stories of boundless wonder and invention.

If “xo” signals a goodbye, then xo Orpheus is a goodbye to an old way of mythmaking, a book that boldly heralds a new beginning for one of the world’s oldest literary traditions.
08
The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012 gathers twenty of the best short stories of the year, selected from thousands published in literary magazines. These remarkable stories explore the boundaries of the imagination in settings as various as an army training camp in China, the salt mines of Detroit, a divided Balkan town, and the eye of a hurricane. Also included are essays from the eminent jurors on their favorite stories, observations from the winners on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines.
09
Contemporary short stories enacting giddy, witty revenge on the documents that define and dominate our lives.

In our bureaucratized culture, we're inundated by documents: itineraries, instruction manuals, permit forms, primers, letters of complaint, end-of-year reports, accidentally forwarded email, traffic updates, ad infinitum. David Shields and Matthew Vollmer, both writers and professors, have gathered forty short fictions that they've found to be seriously hilarious and irresistibly teachable (in both writing and literature courses): counterfeit texts that capture the barely suppressed frustration and yearning that percolate just below the surface of most official documents. The innovative stories collected in Fakes including ones by Ron Carlson (a personal ad), Amy Hempel (a complaint to the parking department), Rick Moody (Works Cited), and Lydia Davis (a letter to a funeral parlor) trace the increasingly blurry line between fact and fiction and exemplify a crucial form for the twenty-first century.

With contributions by:
David Means
George Saunders
Stanley Crawford
Mark Halliday
Charles Yu
Caron A. Levis
Lorrie Moore
Kevin Wilson
Elizabeth Stuckey-French
Amy Hempel
Donald Barthelme
Joe Wenderoth
Laura Jayne Martin
Ron Carlson
Chris Bachelder
Rob Cohen
Mieke Eerkens
Joseph Salvatore
Daniel Orozco
Greg Burnham
Jack Pendarvis
Robin Hemley
Kari Anne Roy
Rachel B. Glaser
Wendy Brenner
Lucas Cooper
Samantha Hunt
Charles McLeod
Matthew Williamson
Arda Collins
David Shields
Melanie Rae Thon
Matthew Vollmer
Lydia Davis
Paul Theroux
Rick Moody
Michael Martone
J. Robert Lennon
Jonathan Safran Foer
J. G. Ballard
10
Over the past twenty-five years, New Stories from the South has published the work of now well-known writers, including James Lee Burke, Andre Dubus, Barbara Kingsolver, John Sayles, Joshua Ferris, and Abraham Verghese and nurtured the talents of many others, including Larry Brown, Jill McCorkle, Brock Clarke, Lee Smith, and Daniel Wallace.

This twenty-fifth volume reachs out beyond the South to one of the most acclaimed short story writers of our day. Guest editor Amy Hempel admits, “I’ve always had an affinity for writers from the South,” and in her choices, she’s identified the most inventive, heartbreaking, and chilling stories being written by Southerners all across the country.

From the famous (Rick Bass, Wendell Berry, Elizabeth Spencer, Wells Tower, Padgett Powell, Dorothy Allison, Brad Watson) to the finest new talents, Amy Hempel has selected twenty-five of the best, most arresting stories of the past year. The 2010 collection is proof of the enduring vitality of the short form and the vigor of this ever-changing yet time-honored series.