The Women

The Women

A Novel

Book - 2009
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A dazzling novel of Frank Lloyd Wright, told from the point of view of the women in his life

Having brought to life eccentric cereal king John Harvey Kellogg in The Road to Wellville and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in The Inner Circle , T.C. Boyle now turns his fictional sights on an even more colorful and outlandish character: Frank Lloyd Wright. Boyle's account of Wright's life, as told through the experiences of the four women who loved him, blazes with his trademark wit and invention. Wright's life was one long howling struggle against the bonds of convention, whether aesthetic, social, moral, or romantic. He never did what was expected and despite the overblown scandals surrounding his amours and very public divorces and the financial disarray that dogged him throughout his career, he never let anything get in the way of his larger-than-life appetites and visions. Wright's triumphs and defeats were always tied to the women he loved: the Montenegrin beauty Olgivanna Milanoff; the passionate Southern belle Maud Miriam Noel; the spirited Mamah Cheney, tragically killed; and his young first wife, Kitty Tobin. In The Women , T.C. Boyle's protean voice captures these very different women and, in doing so, creates a masterful ode to the creative life in all its complexity and grandeur.
Publisher: New York : Viking, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780670020416
9780143116479
Characteristics: 451 pages ; 24 cm

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susanchyn
Aug 30, 2015

A voluptuous, but somewhat difficult read. All in all, worth the effort.

Boyle's sequencing is a times confusing (to a novice, learning to piece together the arc of his life/career). And the footnotes are off-putting.

Still, Frank Lloyd Wright is just so interesting, that these warts are, in my opinion, tolerable.

c
Chapel_Hill_KenMc
Dec 13, 2014

T.C. Boyle is one of my favorite contemporary writers. He's always crisp, attentive to details, and manages to find intriguing material. The story of Frank Lloyd Wright and his relationships with the women in his life is stranger than fiction, and well worth delving into.

rufus_red4 Jun 07, 2012

A great book. T.C. Boyle took the facts of Frank Lloyd Wright's personal life and put them down in a clever novel. You wont want to put it down as the events are described in all of their scandalous, shocking and disturbing detail. My only slight quibble is the title only because it's been used before. Other than that, definitely read this book.

njkenney Mar 10, 2011

While many are familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture and the sad accounts of Taliesin, few might be aware of his personal life and the women with whom he was involved. By using Tadashi Sato, a Japanese apprentice to Wrieto-san, as the narrator Boyle masterfully tells the story of the four women who loved Frank Lloyd Wright. Olgvianna Milanoff, Maud Miriam Noel, Mamah Cheney and his first wife Kitty.

The narration by Tadashi was clever. He adored and respected Wright so immensely that his many indiscretions and character flaws were downplayed thus allowing the reader to feel sympathy instead of disdain. For me, this was especially true in the characterization of Mamah. In Nancy Horan's Loving Frank, I disliked Mamah and considered her a whiney victim. But Boyle made her more human and likeable in spite of her actions. Novelist credits Boyle with having a richly-detailed writing style which is a huge understatement as far as The Women is concerned. The details are so intricate, even inanimate objects---Taliesin, the fires and Tadashi's roadster---come to life.

Cataloged as biographical fiction.

s
sherit
Feb 05, 2010

T.C. Boyle sure did not do any favors to his heroins. According to him, they all are shallow and superficial. A sexist view of women, to say the least.

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