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Plagued by Fire by Paul Hendrickson

Plagued by Fire

Best Seller
Plagued by Fire by Paul Hendrickson
Oct 01, 2019 | 624 Pages
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  • Hardcover $35.00

    Oct 01, 2019 | 624 Pages

  • Ebook $15.99

    Oct 01, 2019 | 624 Pages

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“Dazzling. . .  Ingenious. . . Plagued by Fire has moments of raw emotional power.”—Amanda Hurley, The American Scholar 

“Hendrickson is one of our great stylists.”Boston Globe 

“Paul Hendrickson has made a life of taking the figures we think we know, and revealing how little we actually understood them. From the depression-era photographer Marion Post Wolcott to the war-maker Robert McNamara and the writer Ernest Hemingway, his subjects tend to be complex, ambitious men and women caught in the thrust of outsized times. Hendrickson has his work cut out for him with Wright, certainly the most written about architect in the world. Yet this, his longest book might be his most beautifully written—there’s a tone of absolute curiosity and respect, a judiciousness about probing a long-dead psyche, and a depth of understanding about how hidden demons often contribute to the art that artists make which [makes] this book absolutely riveting, as if all the buildings it describes have yet to be built.” —John Freeman, Executive Editor, Literary Hub

“Hendrickson is a researcher of unquenchable curiosity. . . as [he] travels the arc of Wright’s life, his investigation into its deepest mysteries achieves a powerful momentum. Wright was a genius, an egotist, and a man tormented by conscience and regret, and Hendrickson’s inspired storytelling is worthy of its subject.”—Mary Ann Gwinn, Booklist (starred review)

“Paul Hendrickson has a voice. He hasn’t written a line that lies flat on the page; his every sentence crinkles and burns with intelligence. In Plagued by Fire, he transmutes the story of America’s greatest architect into something unexpected and immediate—a life inscribed by race, fire, murder, and loss, all inseparable from creative brilliance. Like Hendrickson himself, this book is indispensable.” —T. J. Stiles, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Paul Hendrickson’s beautifully composed, revelatory Plagued by Fire brilliantly combs through the tangled web Frank Lloyd Wright wove around his long-lived, complicated self. Written as if it’s a detective story, which in a way it is, this wonderfully unconventional biography captures Wright’s artistry while it plumbs the depths of his vulnerability, his compulsions, his work ethic, his cruelties, his defensiveness—and his humanity. What emerges is biography on a grand scale, large enough to encompass the restless, haunted architect who lived, breathed, and was burned by the twentieth century. Not to be missed.” —Brenda Wineapple, author of The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

“A masterful portrait of the flawed creator of flawless buildings.”—Simon Jenkins, author of A Short History of Europe

“Opening Paul Hendrickson’s Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright is a bit like first encountering Faulkner. You enter a lapidary universe: multi-layered, multiv-dimensional, linear and circular, often at the same time. Time? Hendrickson zooms around the narrative in a brilliantly literary time machine, strategically reminding the reader where she’s been, where she’s going and where she’s going back again. He builds no less than a Wrightian structure with words, filled with light and air, porous to the world outside, exquisitely finished and furnished. Coming after so many biographies of Wright, Hendrickson’s aim is to discover and reveal the complicated, deeply hidden goodness of the man. Like all great biographers, he knows and shows that any such quest arrives at an elusive, human mystery.” —Kate Buford, author of Burt Lancaster: An American Life

“Paul Hendrickson has managed to take the life of one of the most complex and difficult of American artists and restore some measure of human-ness to him in this riveting work.” —Ken Burns

“This is a biography worthy of the complexity of America’s iconic 20th Century architect. It describes Wright’s facade and flaws, but then reaches down to the deep emotional underpinnings of his brilliant but at times difficult personality. By understanding the turmoil of his life, Hendrickson makes Wright more sympathetic.” —Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo Da Vinci

“I’ve long admired Paul Hendrickson for his uncommonly humane biographical portrait of Ernest Hemingway. In Plagued by Fire, he takes up another enigmatic and supremely American artist, Frank Lloyd Wright, in a rendering that’s astonishingly artful and perceptive—piercing the Gordian difficulties of the man with rare sensitivity and intelligence. There are very few biographers today writing at Hendrickson’s level. No one will walk away from this book without a deepened and transformed view of Wright’s life and times.”   —Paula McLain, author of Love and Ruin

“In his fascinating Hemingway’s Boat, Paul Hendrickson accomplished the miracle of making us see Hemingway afresh, and now does the same for Frank Lloyd Wright. A first-rate reporter and storyteller, Hendrickson not only explains Wright’s architecture in terms any layman can appreciate, but also connects that monolithic achievement with a living, breathing human being—an egomaniac and huckster, yes, but also a haunted, touching man who never, never gave up. Quite simply, you don’t know the whole story until you read this book.” —Blake Bailey, author of Cheever: A Life 

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