PAUL HENDRICKSON is the author of the New York Times best seller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, Hemingway's Boat- Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, and Sons of Mississippi- A Story of Race and Its Legacy, which won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award. Since 1998 he has been on the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. For two decades before that, he was a staff writer at The Washington Post. Among his other books are Looking for the Light- The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott (1992 finalist for the NBCC award) and The Living and the Dead- Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War (1996 finalist for the National Book Award). He has been the recipient of writing fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lyndhurst Foundation, and the Alicia Patterson Foundation. In 2009 he was a joint visiting professor of documentary practice at Duke University and of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the father of two grown sons, both of whom work in media, and he lives with his wife, Cecilia, a retired nurse, in Washington, D.C., and outside Philadelphia.
A masterful portrait of the flawed creator of flawless buildings -- Simon Jenkins 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 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 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 Paul Hendrickson has made a life of taking the figures we think we know, and revealing how little we actually understood them... 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 * Literary Hub *