How do we define ourselves in the absence of personal and cultural history? An Idea About my Dead Uncle is a raw, honest and unsentimental novel about the search for self. Wilson is equally at home shining a light on the mundane details of domestic life and traversing the backroads of China with his unlikely hero, as he takes us on a journey into the emptiness at the heart of us all.
- Julie Hartley, author of Deboning a
[K. R.] Wilson’s remarkable novel is smart, funny, unpredictable and engaging. Imbued with insights on family, identity, relationships and music, An Idea About My Dead Uncle brims with suspense and adventure, intriguing characters and fine storytelling.
– Cora Siré, author of Behold Things
If I go to my imaginary dictionary to find an example of a fascinating work of literary art, on the page staring back would be K. R. Wilson's "An Idea About My Dead Uncle." A work of artistry in writing from beginning to end, page to page, its amazing symphony of plot, of ideas and of words astounded me. K. R. Wilson's "dead uncle" won the Guernica Prize for Literary Fiction. It's easy to see why. If you want to read a beautifully written novel, this is the one to go for.
- Johnny Armstrong, author of
[K. R.] Wilson turns the usual quest-for-identity tale on its head in this bold and compelling novel of a young man struggling with ambivalence towards his ethnic heritage and the traumas of family dysfunction. The story begins with beguiling lightness and irony, swerves into tragi-farce and descends into fantastical chaos as the narrator literally loses himself through his obsessive search for his dead uncle. Wilson's prose is playful, vivid, richly layered and poignant. A story that throws many curve balls at the reader, including big questions about the meaning and/or absurdity of life.
- Gabriella Goliger, author of Eva
[K. R. Wilson] ..., is a writer of considerable promise if he is to be judged by An Idea About My Dead Uncle. It is not surprising that the manuscript for his debut effort garnered him the inaugural Guernica Prize for the best unpublished novel in 2018. ... Wilson's story is what every novel should be—a portal to the imagination of its creator. ... The Guernica Prize laurels will certainly give Wilson a solid start to his literary career, one well merited. And we can expect much more from this talented author.
- Ian Thomas Shaw, author of
K.R. Wilson's book won the Guernica Editions' first novel contest. It is a compelling story about Jason Lavoie, a young composer struggling to write an opera about his mysteriously disappeared uncle who went to China. Jason is part Chinese, a cultural strain which is more or less ignored by his family. He is a lost character, flailing around through various sexual relationships, struggling with a musical career which is going nowhere, until he ventures to China himself, supposedly to search for his uncle who seems to be a symbol of Jason's own identity. ... This novel evoked in me a similar feeling to that created by Madeleine Thien's Do Not Say We Have Nothing. I am very interested to see what K.R. Wilson comes up with next.
- Amanda Hale, author of Mad Hatter
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