Kevin Wilson

Literary Ink: Famous Authors and Their Tattoos

For some reason, writers and tattoos don’t necessarily spring to mind as a natural pairing — we tend to imagine authors decked out in sleeves of tweed and corduroy, not ink. But more and more authors are showing off their tattoos nowadays, and even some classic writers are a little more tatted up than you might think: George Orwell supposedly sported bright blue dots on his knuckles, and Dorothy Parker wore a star on her elbow. Since we’re always interested in finding out a little bit more about the internal lives of our favorite writers, we decided to explore a few of their tattoos, from the simple to the expansive, the cheeky to the deadly serious. Check out some awesome writer ink after the jump. … Read More

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10 Dysfunctional Literary Families We’d Secretly Like to Join

You know the quote: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Whether you believe Tolstoy or not, there’s something alluring about dysfunctional families, especially when they’re strictly literary. This week saw the release of Mark Haddon’s newest novel The Red House, the story of a family cooped up in a country house together for a week of what should be vacation, but ends up being full of family secrets, personal revelations, and complex dynamics. All that aside, we realized that we wouldn’t mind being part of their tragicomedy, and we got to thinking about some of our other favorite literary families that we sort of wish would adopt us. Click through to see which fictional families we picked, and let us know which ones you’d choose in the comments. … Read More

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10 Contemporary Southern Authors You Should Be Reading

Today marks the release of Ron Rash’s excellent new novel, The Cove, and the book, a World War I love story set in the wilds of the Appalachian mountains, has gotten us on a serious Southern literature kick — particularly contemporary Southern literature, because we’ve read about all the Faulkner we can handle for one month, and accordingly, we’ve put together this list of contemporary Southern authors that are definitely worth carving out some reading time to delve into. There has been much chatter about the state of Southern literature — what it means, what it once meant, what it should mean — but we only have one criteria: that it’s written by a Southern author, and that it’s amazing. We’ve limited our list to living authors, which excludes recent giants Barry Hannah, William Gay, and Harry Crews, as well all the classics (Faulkner, Lee, Welty, O’Connor) who defined the genre. Click through to check out our list of contemporary American Southern authors you really should be reading, and let us know if we’ve left off your favorite in the comments. … Read More

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10 of the Best Practical Jokes in Literature

As you may be aware, today is April Fool’s day — and while we won’t be playing any childish pranks here at Flavorpill, we do enjoy a good practical joke or two, especially when said joke is fictional and thus lacking in real-world consequences. Kurt Vonnegut said, “All of fiction is a practical joke—making people care, laugh, cry or be nauseated or whatever by something which absolutely is not going on at all. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, your pants are on fire.'” That may be so, but there are just as many pranksters in the pages of books as there are holding the pens — some innocent, and some not so innocent. Note: practical jokes can range in severity and style, so just so we’re all on the same page, the definition we’re working with is “a mischievous trick played on a person, especially one that causes the victim to experience embarrassment, indignity, or discomfort.” Click through to read our list of ten of the best pranks and practical jokes in literature, and pitch in with any we’ve missed — or just watch Maya Angelou punk Stephen King and Jonathan Franzen. … Read More

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With a Bang: The Best Debut Novels of 2011

In what seems like a pretty clear argument against all the publishing industry doomsday hype, 2011 has been an uncommonly good year for debut novels. This year, it is more evident than ever that yes, people are still writing, publishing and buying great new fiction (and non-fiction, of course, but that’s a point for another post). Four of the New York Times‘s five best novels of 2011 are first novels, which seems to us to reflect the nature of the year. Here, we’ve picked out our favorites from the pack, all from first-time novelists that we can’t wait to read more from. Click through to see our list, and let us know your own favorite debut novels of the year in the comments. … Read More

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Gift Guide: New Books for Every Member of the Family

Picking out gifts for your loved ones can be one of the most difficult parts of the holiday season. Not only that, but for some reason, picking out books for other people is a lot harder than just picking out a sweater in red or blue. After all, you’re hoping that the recipient will spend hours in rapt attention with your gift, so you have to choose wisely, and you can’t just give the same book to your whole list the way some people give out gift baskets to everyone they know. To help you out while you’re making these monumental decisions, we’ve collected some suggestions of new books for every member of the family — from your nosy aunt to that post-pimply cousin who just made it through puberty. Click through to check out our list, and let us know which books you’re giving to your loved ones this holiday season in the comments. … Read More

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Nicole Kidman to Develop Film Version of Kevin Wilson’s ‘The Family Fang’

Well, that was fast. According to Deadline, Nicole Kidman has acquired the rights to Kevin Wilson’s off-kilter (and bestselling!) debut novel, The Family Fang, which was one of our favorite books of the summer. In it, the children of two out-there performance artists, who have spent their lives being sucked into… Read More

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10 New Must-Reads for August

It’s the tail end of summer but you wouldn’t know from the heat, would you? We propose a list of books worth reading as you hightail it to the beach while there’s still time, because you have 30 days left in this fine month. Make it count by reading a few of the following books (mostly novels, plus one nonfiction upstart). It doesn’t matter if you’re in to crime thrillers, political dramas, fantasy worlds, or tales about a quirky family of art stars — we guarantee that you’ll find something you like on this list. So read on, dear readers, and let us know what you’re excited about reading in the weeks to come. … Read More

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Exclusive: Kevin Wilson on Tunneling to the Center of the Earth

When I read Owen King’s blurb for Kevin Wilson’s debut collection of short stories, tunneling to the center of the earth, I was instantly sucked in: “Kevin Wilson is the unholy child of George Saunders and Carson McCullers.” An insanely -talented Southern weirdo with a dark sense of humor? There’s nothing I like more.

And while Wilson doesn’t consider himself a “Southern” writer per se, he’s quick to admit that 1. He’s fine with being lumped in with the likes of McCullers, Flannery O’Connor, and his literary hero, Ann Patchett (Side note: He pet sat for her beloved pooch Rose in the past.) and 2. He’s spent all but a few years of his life in Tennessee, so it’s where his stories tend to take place. … Read More

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