"Plagued by Fire": An Evening with The Author


Tuesday, December 8th, 6pm-7pm via Zoom Webinar. 


The Westcott House and WYSO 91.3 are teaming up to present a discussion with the author Paul Hendrickson about his most recent book entitled Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright is widely considered to be the greatest American architect. In a career spanning more than 70 years, he created more than a thousand designs and saw more than half of them realized. Today, people all over the world admire Wright buildings as works of art. Wright’s personal life is often deemed as fascinating as his architecture. His story has been a subject of many biographies, as well as highly popular novels, such the New York Times best-seller Loving Frank.

With Plagued by Fire, Paul Hendrickson gave us a new pathbreaking biography that challenges the way we understand the life, mind, and work of the premier American architect. We discover a man dogged by traumas, racked by lies, and stifled by the myths he wove around himself. A man aware of the choices he made, and of their costs. In showing us Wright’s facades along with their cracks, Hendrickson helps us form a fresh, deep, and more human understanding of the man. With prodigious research, unique vision, and his ability to make sense of a life in ways at once unexpected, poetic, and undeniably brilliant, he has given us a defining book on Wright.

Hendrickson is a three-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a winner of it once--for his 2003 Sons of Mississippi. His The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War was a 1996 finalist for the National Book Award. His 2011 Hemingway's Boat: Everything He loved in Life, and Lost was both a New York Times and London best-seller. 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. Since 1998 he has been on the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania, and for two decades before that he was a staff writer at The Washington Post. 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 working in media, and he lives with his wife, Cecilia, a retired nurse, in Washington, D.C. and outside Philadelphia.  

The discussion with the author will be moderated by Neenah Ellis, the Executive Director of The Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Ellis has been a radio producer most of her life. She began her career at a small commercial station in northern Indiana and later worked as a producer for National Public Radio in Washington, DC. She came to WYSO in 2009 and served as General Manager until she became the Executive Director of The Eichelberger Center where she works with her colleagues to train and support local producers and has a chance to be a radio producer again.  She is also the author of a New York Times best-seller called “If I Live to Be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians.” 

This program was made possible by a CARES Act grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.          

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