Frank Lloyd Wright Loved the Ladies

Author T.C. Boyle's new novel explores the life and loves of the architect

One of the greatest architects the world has ever known? Check. Important figure in Chicago history? Check. Infamous womanizer? Check, mate. Frank Lloyd Wright's personal life reads like the plot of a telenovela (ran off to Europe with his client's wife, leaving his own wife and six kids behind, moved on to another spouse who just happened to have a little morphine problem -- you can't make this stuff up). It's these colorful females who inhabit "The Women," author T.C. Boyle's new historical novel based on the wives and lover of Frank Lloyd Wright

Boyle, who is a master at weaving stories set against actual events, as he did with "The Inner Circle" (based on Alfred Kinsey) and "The Road to Wellville" (inspired by the life of John Harvey Kellogg), has rich material to work with here. Wright's passions were well known, and he repeatedly found women who pushed his buttons. Boyle tells his tale from the point of view of each of these women, absorbing the reader with narratives of the architect's life, loves, works and struggles. If the story feels unusually intimate, it could be because the author is literally close to the subject matter; he lives in the first California house Frank Lloyd Wright designed.

A book tour for "The Women" brings Boyle to Oak Park on Monday, Feb. 16 and downtown Chicago on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Boyle's Oak Park stop will be at the Unity Temple, which was, fittingly enough, designed by Wright himself. The Unity Temple event takes place at 7PM. Boyle will visit the Harold Washington Library Center in the Loop on Feb. 17 at 6PM.

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