New FLW Novel

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Posts: 1548
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Westerville, Ohio

New FLW Novel

Post by Wrightgeek »

I stumbled across this earlier today, and was wondering if anyone out there knows more about this forthcoming book. The following description is from the website of NEW YORK MAGAZINE:

By Nancy Horan (Ballantine; August 7)

The Précis: Former resident of Frank Lloyd Wright territory (Oak Park, Illinois) fictionalizes the architect’s scandalous affair with the wife of a client.

Pros: Maybe the buzziest serious novel of the summer—including a coveted spot on BookExpo’s “Buzz Panel.�

Cons: The bar has been set high—a 75,000-copy printing is a lot for a debut. Critics will have one eye on the hype, the other on historical accuracy.

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Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

Ira Levin did something similar in The Architect. He changed the names but otherwise stayed as close as he could to the biographical facts, following Wright's life from childhood through the Taliesin tragedy.

Paul Ringstrom
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Location: Mason City, IA

Loving Frank: pre-publication reviews

Post by Paul Ringstrom »


(the cover looks familiar....)

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Horan's ambitious first novel is a fictionalization of the life of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, best known as the woman who wrecked Frank Lloyd Wright's first marriage. Despite the title, this is not a romance, but a portrayal of an independent, educated woman at odds with the restrictions of the early 20th century. Frank and Mamah, both married and with children, met when Mamah's husband, Edwin, commissioned Frank to design a house. Their affair became the stuff of headlines when they left their families to live and travel together, going first to Germany, where Mamah found rewarding work doing scholarly translations of Swedish feminist Ellen Key's books. Frank and Mamah eventually settled in Wisconsin, where they were hounded by a scandal-hungry press, with tragic repercussions. Horan puts considerable effort into recreating Frank's vibrant, overwhelming personality, but her primary interest is in Mamah, who pursued her intellectual interests and love for Frank at great personal cost. As is often the case when a life story is novelized, historical fact inconveniently intrudes: Mamah's life is cut short in the most unexpected and violent of ways, leaving the narrative to crawl toward a startlingly quiet conclusion. Nevertheless, this spirited novel brings Mamah the attention she deserves as an intellectual and feminist. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Advance praise for Loving Frank

“This graceful, assured first novel tells the remarkable story of the long-lived affair between Frank Lloyd Wright, a passionate and impossible figure, and Mamah Cheney, a married woman whom Wright beguiled and led beyond the restraint of convention. It is engrossing, provocative reading.�
–Scott Turow

“It takes great courage to write a novel about historical people, and in particular to give voice to someone as mythic as Frank Lloyd Wright. This beautifully written novel about Mamah Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright’s love affair is vivid and intelligent, unsentimental and compassionate.�
–Jane Hamilton

“I admire this novel, adore this novel, for so many reasons: The intelligence and lyricism of the prose. The attention to period detail. The epic proportions of this most fascinating love story. Mamah Cheney has been in my head and heart and soul since reading this book; I doubt she’ll ever leave.�
–Elizabeth Berg

“Loving Frank is one of those novels that takes over your life. It’s mesmerizing and fascinating–filled with complex characters, deep passions, tactile descriptions of astonishing architecture, and the colorful immediacy of daily life a hundred years ago–all gathered into a story that unfolds with riveting urgency.�
–Lauren Belfer

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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Westerville, Ohio

FLW Novel

Post by Wrightgeek »

Although this book certainly will not qualify as a scholarly tome, it appears that this is a very well written and researched account (albeit fictionalized to some account for dramatic affect) of this very important period of FLW's personal life.

More importantly, if in fact this book proves to be as commercially successful as seems to be anticipated, it could go a long way towards exposing FLW to a larger segment of the general public, thereby increasing awareness about the other aspects of his life and work, which IMHO can only be construed as a positive for the greater good of FLW, his work and his legacy.

What's more, this book seems to have the potential to achieve a more far-reaching affect than most of the very historically correct and accurate books (which I very thoroughly enjoy!) that are directed at a very small percentage of the marketplace, namely the architectural community and * enthusiasts like those of us who frequent this forum and the like.

I'm very interested to hear the thoughts of the other participants of the forum on this.

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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:00 am

thoughts on Loving Frank

Post by DamiensGreve »

I'm holding my judgment, since this is the first novel by the author. I'll probably read it. I tried reading The Architect but did not find it riveting. Hopefully it will be written well enough to prevent my FLLW-inspired wrath over the facts. who knows.

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