Though our perfect little literary world is losing a key component with the closing of The Booksellers at Laurelwood, there is still much to be optimistic about. New books are released weekly, if not daily, and even at Booksellers there are still books on the shelves and events planned to celebrate the literary love that Memphis exudes.
Next week, the Booksellers will be hosting Kevin Wilson for an off-site event at Bounty on Broad. Wilson’s new book, Perfect Little World (Ecco) will be released that day and available for sale.
Wilson lives in Sewanee, Tennesee, where he is an associate professor in the English Department at The University of the South. He is the author of the bestselling novel, The Family Fang, as well as the collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, A Public Space, and elsewhere, and has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South. He has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Rivendell Writers' Colony, and the KHN Center for the Arts.
Perfect Little World finds Isabelle Poole meeting Dr. Preston Grind when 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. This attempt at a utopian ideal — funded by an eccentric billionaire — starts off promising, but soon the gentle equilibrium among the families is upset and it all starts to disintegrate.
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.
“[A] bittersweet story about messed-up families from the talented Wilson… A moving and sincere reflection on what it truly means to become a family.” – Kirkus, starred review
“Sweet and thoroughly satisfying . . . Wilson grounds his premise in credible human motivations and behavior, resulting in a memorable cast of characters. He uses his intriguing premise to explore the meaning of family and the limits of rational decision making.” — Publishers Weekly
Kevin Wilson reading and signing
Tuesday, January 24th
Bounty on Broad
2519 Broad Avenue