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A novel look at 'The Women' of Frank Lloyd Wright

February 7, 2009 | 12:00 pm

The Boyles at home

T.C. Boyle's latest novel, "The Women," revolves around the lives of architecture titan Frank Lloyd Wright and the (four) women who loved him. In Sunday's Arts & Books section, Taylor Antrim reviews the 452-page work, which, as you can see above, was penned by a man who makes his home inside a Wright-designed house in Montecito.

Antrim writes:

... Wright carried on scandalous romances, endured personal tragedy and routinely uttered the kind of gasbag statements that cry out for a rambunctious satirist like Boyle. A humdinger serves as the novel’s epigraph: "Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility; I chose arrogance." The potential for entertainment (and wickedness) is high.

But while "The Women" is diverting and vivid, as most Boyle novels are, it is also remarkably benign in its portrayal of Wright.

Why? Antrim wonders if Boyle sees the architect as a kindred spirit.

To see if that theory holds true, read Mark Rozzo's story here (an online exclusive), which opens with the following quote from Boyle about the similarities between him and Wright:

"We are both architects in a way. We both deal with structure, we are both artists, and we are both egomaniacs. I have worn a cape. There is where we end."

You can read the full book review here.

-- Scott Sandell

Photo: Author T.C. Boyle and his wife, Karen, at home in their Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in 2003. Credit: Los Angeles Times