As Spalding Gray summed it up best, “Sex and Death to the Age 14 is basically about the death of goldfish and masturbation.” Gray takes us through his childhood recollections of growing up in a Christian Science household in Barrington, Rhode Island, in the 1950s. From the untimely deaths of various pets (ducks to dogs) to his sexual awakening as a teenager, from erotic pictures in Life magazine to strip poker, we get Gray’s humorous take on coming to terms with both subjects—death and sex. Throughout his childhood these weighed heavily on his mind, and 30 years later, we find him trying to make sense of it all.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2011: For outré performance artists, Caleb and Camille Fang, everything in life is secondary to art, including their children. Annie and Buster (popularly known as Child A. and Child B.) are the unwilling stars of their parents’ chaotically subversive work. Art is truly a family affair for the Fangs. Years later, their lives in disarray, Annie and Buster reluctantly return home in search of sanctuary—only to be caught up in one last performance. The Family Fang sparkles with Kevin Wilson’s inventive dialogue and wonderfully rendered set-pieces that capture the surreal charm of the Fang’s most notable work. With this brilliant novel, the family Fang is destined to join the families Tenenbaum and Bluth as paragons of high dysfunction.