From the bestselling author of Nothing to See Here, with a new introduction by the author.
‘Kevin Wilson’s stories show us a world that is both real and full of illusion…He forces us to look at our own lives in a new and slightly off-kilter way.’—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
In Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, Kevin Wilson’s characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. ‘Grand Stand-In’ is narrated by an employee of the Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider—a company that supplies ‘stand-ins’ for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents. And in ‘Blowing Up on the Spot’, a young man works sorting tiles at a Scrabble factory after his parents have spontaneously combusted.
Laced with humour and pathos, the wonderfully inventive stories in Tunneling to the Center of the Earth explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both.
‘These superb, often audacious stories rework the ordinary into surreal yet hauntingly plausible worlds, and we emerge seeing ourselves with fresh, if somewhat nervous, clarity.’ —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
‘Acute and uniformly unsettling, these fictions explore themes of loss and loneliness with fresh young insight, and occasionally with a faint rainbow at the end.’—Boston Globe
‘[A] lively, inventive book…Wilson offers fabulous twists and somersaults of the imagination.’—New York Times
‘A Southern writer with a bent sense of humor offers a fine debut collection of stories, some unlike anything you’ve read before. Wilson displays a marvelous sense of narrative ingenuity…Weird and wonderful stories from a writer who has that most elusive of gifts: new ideas.’—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
‘[A] captivating debut collection…fresh and darkly comedic.’—Publishers Weekly
‘All the stories in Tunneling to the Center of the Earth are lush with imagination, humanity, and wit.’—Rumpus