The Women (T. C. Boyle)

"Writing a novel is like building a house", said T. C. Boyle in an interview about his latest novel, "The Women".

There's an excerpt from "The Women" on Boyle's site.

"The Women" is a fictional portrait of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright's life, as seen through the prism of four women significant to him: Kitty Tobin, his first wife, mother of his six children, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, a scholar of the women's movement (who is brutally murdered with her children by a butler while Wright is at work in Chicago),the morphine addicted artist Maud Miriam Noel, and the Montenegrin dancer Olgivanna Milanoff. Parts of the novel are told by a fictional Japanese apprentice, Tadashi Sato.

The book gripped me from start to finish. I read the (about 420 pages) in one day and a few nightly hours. In English. Boyle shows Wright in great complexity, self-centered, egotistic, as a genius, overwhelmingly creative and versatile, charming and despotic, in a chaotic, restless life.

Of course, I've looked at all those beautiful houses on the internet. T.C.Boyle himself lives in one of Wright's houses in California. The prairie houses must be extraordinary to live in. Wright must have been far ahead of his time, with his ideas of natural, organic living, his democratic ideas on building houses. I never had the slightest interest for architecture - but now I do.

At least I was in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York a few years ago.

There's a talk given by T.C.Boyle, quite amusing. Lydia, if you listen to this, don't take the part about Oregon personal. :-)


Lydia said...

I watched a part of the video and he didn't offend me. I think he's absolutely right about Oregon allowing cell phone usage while driving. It's crazy!

The book does sound so interesting. And I love architecture. One of Frank Lloyd Wright's homes was moved very near where I live. It's called The Gordon House and it's soooooo beautiful!

francessa said...

Wow, Lydia, that's beautiful,and the location too, with the house nestling between those big trees!

Usage of cell phones while driving isn't allowed over here. But that doesn't keep lots of people from using them all the same.

Lydia said...

I just followed your link to InNewYork and had a blast! I liked it so much that I signed onto their email list for the 10 best weekly. What fun. I love New York!

francessa said...

Lydia, I sometimes go to InNew York just for a change of mood! It works almost every time!

Margo said...

Thanks for the review of this book. TC Boyle is one of my favorite writers, but I prefer his short stories. I like many of his novels too, but they are more hit or miss for me. This one sounds fascinating and I just read Loving Frank a month or so ago.

francessa said...

Hi Margo, how did you like Loving Frank?

Margo said...

Francessa, Loving Frank was wonderful. It is from the time when my grandmother was growing up, getting married, etc.. from Mamah and shed much light on how different things were for women and how far we've come. Fabulous details and much research, but incredibly well done characters and story also. Can't say it made me think much of FLW. I had no idea that the genius was such a jerk.

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