Family Fang (Wilson) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for The Family Fang:

1. Are these parents cruel...or clueless...or what? How would you describe them and their style of parenting? Do you find the two amusing?
 
2. What is "performance art"? Is it art? What, in general, do its creators attempt to reveal through their art form? Have you ever witnessed performance art?

3. Follow-up to Question # 2: Metaphrically speaking, what is the significance of Caleb and Camille as "performance artists" in terms of Wilson's overall theme? What does it suggest about parenting...or being a child...or being part of family...or about life in general? What are the broader strokes Wilson is painting here?

4. Talk about the consequences of Caleb and Camille's artistry—the ways in which their work affects Buster and Annie, both in the short-term, as children, and in the longer-term as young adults?

5. How might you have survived in the Fang Family?

6. What, to your mind, was the most bizarre—or perhaps the funniest—stunt the parents pulled off?

7. What is the significance of the family's name? Why would Wilson have chosen it—and why would he have inverted the family for his title (i.e., from the Fang Family to the Family Fang)?

8. When Buster and Annie return home, the parents congratulate the wo on their ability to subvert conventional ideas of violence and exploitation. Are the children to be congratulated? What do Buster or Annie think?

9. Follow-up to Question # 8: What do Buster and Annie come to understand about their parents and their upbringing?  What makes them begin to question the things their parents once told them?

10. At some point in all of our lives, we come to see our parents, not as demi-gods, but as human beings. When did that occur to you...and what precipitated the insight? Does the new understanding of one's parents lead to (or come from) maturity or disillusionment...or both?

11. Is this book funny?

(Questions issued by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online of off, with attribution. Thanks)

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