By T.C. Boyle
464 pages; Viking
In his new novel, The Women, T.C. Boyle deconstructs the private lives (and wives, etc.) of the revolutionary 20th-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright. With daredevil artistry, Boyle narrates the story backward in time, so that when we meet, say, Wright's glamorously narcissistic second wife, Maude Miriam Noel—successor to free-spirited Mamah and poor, abandoned Kitty—we've already seen the havoc she wreaks. Annotated, in piquant footnotes, by an ex-apprentice named Tadashi, the novel seems to rise fully articulated, like one of Wright's own iconic constructs. This is a tale of seductive genius: Who can resist a man who reshapes the world?