Kevin Wilson

8

we are a group of guys who play games and yell at each other while doing it

bonus sp00n:

5

Tenth of December by George Saunders

For more wickedly funny and bizarre short story collections, try these…

The Fun Parts by Sam Lipsyte for pitch-black comedy and blistering prose

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender for eccentric premises

Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson for offbeat humor and enormous heart

Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link for fantastical, outsized imagination

This post was guest edited by author Ravi Mangla. His first novel, Understudies, is out now.

Quirk informs action and language. The weirdness of each individual plays a part in how a person processes the world and interacts with it. I focus on moving the plot forward and on finding ways for the action of the characters to push the narrative forward. The inherent weirdness of human beings is a nice engine for that. A character’s unique and quirky responses to a perfectly reasonable situation cause complications in the narrative and allow us to learn something about the character.
—  Kevin Wilson
“You are very sweet,” she told him after a year of dating, as they shared a dessert at a restaurant, “but it’s like your family trained you to react to the world in a way that was so specific to their art that you don’t know how to interact with people in the real world. You act like every conversation is just a buildup to something awful.” In response to this, he acknowledged her concerns, said he needed to use the restroom, then ran out of the restaurant, leaving her with the bill, and never saw her again.
—  The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

from Excerpt from The Big Book of Forgotten Lunatics, Volume I by Kevin Wilson, in The Collagist

He was born without ears, his skin bone-white. His mother bled out. His father, a veteran of the Civil War, his left arm a sleeve of fabric, smothered the newborn baby for seventeen minutes with a wadded-up cloth handkerchief but the child did not perish.

He reportedly called sinkholes “the most vaginal of god’s natural occurrences,” though this has been disputed and is probably a case of mythmaking rather than fact.