Wilson, Antoine 1971–
Wilson, Antoine 1971–
(Antoine Leonide Thomas Wilson)
Writer. University of California, Los Angeles, Extension Writing Program, teacher of writing.
Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, fellow.
The Young Zillionaire's Guide to Distributing Goods and Services (young adult), Rosen Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2000.
You and a Death in Your Family (young adult), Rosen Central (New York, NY), 2001.
The Assassination of William McKinley (young adult), Rosen Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2002.
S.E. Hinton (young adult), Rosen Central (New York, NY), 2003.
The Interloper: A Novel, Handsel Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributing editor, A Public Space. Contributor to Paris Review and the Best New American Voices anthology.
Antoine Wilson's first work of fiction, The Interloper: A Novel, is a story of revenge gone awry. Owen Patterson wants two things out of life: healing for his wife Patty, in mourning for the meaningless killing of her little brother C.J., and vengeance on C.J.'s murderer, Henry Joseph Raven. Although Raven has been caught, tried, and sentenced to a twenty-year prison term, Owen wants a more personal accounting. "He plans to entrap Raven emotionally through letters supposedly written by a lonely, available female," explained a Kirkus Reviews contributor; "once Raven is hooked, the woman will end the relationship, Raven will be crushed and Patty will find closure." The plan quickly goes awry, in part because Owen draws on his own tortured past for inspiration—in particular, his feelings for his now-dead lover and cousin Eileen. "What was mildly comedic," stated a contributor to the Five Branch Tree blog, "soon succumbs entirely to the dark side of the human psyche, then feeding off itself until there's nothing left but the inevitable tragedy."
"One question being negotiated in The Interloper," Wilson told Lisa Kunik in an interview in the Small Spiral Notebook, "is whether it is, as Owen puts it, ‘the noblest mistake to see humanity in everyone.’ There's an ethical collision. Of course we want to see humanity in everyone; we want to believe that everyone is capable of feeling, for instance. But what about someone like Raven? Is he indeed unfeeling?" "I don't know the answers to these questions," Wilson concluded, "but in this novel I tried to open a space in which they could be negotiated, albeit in an oblique way."
Wilson said that he was able to write a book that deals with loss in a comedic sense in part because his own half-brother was murdered. "After the book made its way into the world," he declared in an interview for LAist, "it occurred to me that someone who never had a murder in their family might never write this kind of book. It's dark, but the darkness that unfolds was something I had to live with and cope with using the full spectrum of emotions. I didn't feel there was a clash with the funny stuff—I just kept thinking it was darkly comic. But if someone set out to write this book … the schism might be a little more obvious and it might not work."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2007, review of The Interloper: A Novel, p. 98.
Ploughshares, fall, 2007, James Alan McPherson, "James Alan McPherson Recommends The Interloper."
Publishers Weekly, March 19, 2007, review of The Interloper, p. 39.
School Library Journal, February, 2001, Mary Mueller, review of The Young Zillionaire's Guide to Distributing Goods and Services, p. 139; August, 2001, Martha Gordon, review of You and a Death in Your Family, p. 207; August, 2003, Nicole M. Marcuccilli, review of S.E. Hinton, p. 186.
Antoine Wilson Home Page,http://www.antoinewilson.com (October 9, 2007), author biography and blog.
Antoine Wilson MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com (October 9, 2007), author biography.
Big Mouth Indeed Strikes Again,http://bigmouthindeedstrikesagain.blogspot.com/ (August 17, 2007), Amy Guth, interview with Antoine Wilson.
Five Branch Tree,http://fivebranchtree.blogspot.com/ (October 9, 2007), "The Interloper; Antoine Wilson, 2007."
LAist,http://www.laist.com/ (May 22, 2007), "LAist Interview: Antoine Wilson."
Small Spiral Notebook,http://www.smallspiralnotebook.com/ (October 9, 2007), Lisa Kunik, "Lisa Kunik Interviews Antoine Wilson, Author of The Interloper."