Frank Lloyd Wright

Meryle Secrest, Author Alfred A. Knopf $30 (634p) ISBN 978-0-394-56436-4
In this superb, subtle, demythologizing biography of Wright (1869-1959), we meet a shrewd yet gullible architect who fostered a view of himself as a misunderstood, embattled genius, a narcissist who unconsciously courted catastrophe while blaming the vengeful hand of fate as he overcame accidents, bankruptcy, lawsuits and hounding by his morphine-addicted second wife. Drawing on a trove of letters, Secrest ( Salvador Dali ) traces Wright's ``secret conviction of worthlessness'' to the contradictory influences of his freethinking, erratic Welsh mother and his jealous, spendthrift father, a New England minister. She discusses the dynamics of the architect's three marriages, recounts his clashes with Louis Sullivan and Lewis Mumford, and digs beneath his ``quasi-mystical Celtic beliefs'' to pinpoint the multiple influences on his fervent quest for an organic architecture. A definitive portrait of a mercurial titan. Photos. BOMC and QPB alternates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-06-097567-8
Hardcover - 978-0-517-14474-9
Paperback - 652 pages - 978-0-226-74414-8
Open Ebook - 511 pages - 978-0-8041-5338-6
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