From the award-winning and best-selling author of Hemingway's Boat – a ground-breaking biography that illuminates the life, mind and work of one of the icons of twentieth-century America.
Frank Lloyd Wright has long been known as both a supreme artist and an insufferable egotist who held in contempt almost everything aside from his own genius as an architect. But in this masterly work we discover a man dogged by traumas, racked by lies, and stifled by the myths he wove around himself: a man aware of the choices he made, and of their costs.
This is the Wright who was haunted by his father, about whom he told the greatest lie of his life. And this is the Wright of many other overlooked aspects of his story: his close, and perhaps romantic, relationship with friend and early mentor Cecil Corwin; the connection between the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 and the murder of his mistress, her two children and four others at his beloved Wisconsin home by a servant gone mad; and the eerie, unmistakable role of fires in his eventful life.
Showing us Wright's facades along with their cracks, Hendrickson helps us form a deep and more human understanding of the man, and a fresh appreciation of his monumental artistic achievements. With prodigious research, unique vision and his ability to make sense of a life in ways at once unexpected, poetic and brilliant, he has given us the defining book on one of the greatest creative talents of twentieth-century America.
PAUL HENDRICKSON is the author of the New York Times best seller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, and Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy, which won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award. Since 1998 he has been on the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. For two decades before that, he was a staff writer at The Washington Post. Among his other books are Looking for the Light: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott (1992 finalist for the NBCC award) and The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War (1996 finalist for the National Book Award). He has been the recipient of writing fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lyndhurst Foundation, and the Alicia Patterson Foundation. In 2009 he was a joint visiting professor of documentary practice at Duke University and of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the father of two grown sons, both of whom work in media, and he lives with his wife, Cecilia, a retired nurse, in Washington, D.C., and outside Philadelphia.