Through a series of sometimes strange and mysterious events involving his characters, Wilson shows us the often complicated nature of relationships between family, partners, and friends ... Overall, Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine is a collection that speaks and reflects on the human condition and the relationships we build. Even though the stories are sometimes fantastical or so outside the realm of most people’s experiences, they manage to be relatable and heartfelt nonetheless, exposing some very real elements of humanity.
"Kafkaesque absurdism, Southern Gothic, domestic dysfunction, sci-fi playfulness—throw it all in a blender, and what comes out will look something like Kevin Wilson’s new story collection ... In style, the collection is divided between what used to be called dirty realism—moody tales of sordid lives, though those here are infused with Wilson’s knack for levity, even in the most dismal circumstances—and magical realism ... a writer as nimble and generous as Kevin Wilson reminds us that a great story can assure us, at least, that we’re not alone.
Tolstoy would have approved: In the short story collection Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine, Kevin Wilson finds an impressively wide-ranging assortment of punishments to make 10 different families uniquely unhappy. Yet it’s a thrill to read these stories, proving yet again that even bleak material can be exciting in the hands of a great storyteller ... What makes Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine moving rather than lurid is Wilson’s compassion for his characters and his beautiful writing. He has a gift for heartbreaking detail ... a nuanced book.
What I love most about Wilson's writing is that he'll start off with these goofy, almost sitcom-type contrived premises and from there create stories that knock you out with the force of their emotional truth. That distinctive sweet-tart flavor of Wilson's writing is triple-concentrated in his new short story collection ... In ingenious ways, all the stories here are about surrender, whether they're about a character's surrendering to loss or human failing ... There's a lot of Salinger in Wilson's writing — the wit, the vulnerability and the cosmic sadness ... they killed me.
[The stories in Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine] all build on each other in strange and remarkable ways, showcasing Wilson’s crackling wit and big heart ... Filled with imagination, humor and wit, Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine is an exuberant collection of captivating and charmingly bizarre stories that promise to burrow their way into your heart and soul.
The 10 stories in Kevin Wilson’s Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine are tough to read. Not difficult — just tough. They’re soaked in loss and unrelenting unhappiness. That’s not to say they are cheerless; nevertheless, what humor exists in them is always dark. The characters — who mostly live in the rural southeastern United States — are burdened with Thoreau’s 'lives of quiet desperation.' Sometimes the desperation is so quiet that they may find themselves shouting into the wind ... The unnerving stories in You’re Gonna Be Mine, though supersaturated with unhappiness, also examine what it means to be human. The only path to surviving is to keep running and keep breathing. The sad irony of the human comedy is that, more often than not, it is steeped in tragedy.