The Women

T.C. Boyle

Architecture, Biography, Communal Living, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gurdjieff, Modernism, Relationships
T.C. Boyle
Original Language


The genius of Frank Lloyd Wright was both magnetic and cruel, as evidenced by the succession of failed marriages and hot-blooded affairs depicted in this biographic reimagining that drills into Wright mythology and the dark shadows of the American dream. The narrative moves backwards in time through the accounts of four women in Wrights life: Olgivanna, the steely, grounded dancer from Montenegro; Miriam, the drug-addled narcissist from the South; Kitty, the devoted first wife; and Mamah, the beloved and murdered soul mate and intellectual companion. But the novels centerpiece is Taliesin, Wrights Oz-like Wisconsin home. The tragedies that befall Taliesin-fires, brutality-serve as proxy for Wrights inner turmoil; his deeper stirrings surface only occasionally from behind Boyles oft-overbearing depiction of Wrights women. The most engaging person is Tadashi Sato, the Japanese-American apprentice and narrator who emerges via his frequent footnotes as a complex reflection of Wrieto-san and, with his inability to remain objective and his evolving view of Wright and Wrights image, becomes the books most dynamic character.

Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, FLW's last wife was a dancer and long-time pupil of the Greek-Armenian mystic and teacher G.I. Gurdjieff. She studied and performed his Sacred Dances and spent time at his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in France during the 1920s.

The video clip is an excerpt from Peter Brook's film Meetings with Remarkable Name inspired by Gurdieff's book of the same name.