Thursday, November 12th, 7:00 PM
Please join us for an evening with author David Heymann, delving into the problematics of booming Austin from an architect’s point of view.
Austin’s allure and explosive growth are central to the seven masterful tales David Heymann crafts in My Beautiful City Austin, his first book of fiction. Each story centers on the design of yet another new house. The narrator, a young architect starting his own practice, struggles to understand his clients’ desires— a retiring couple needs an immense home in the middle of nature, a progressive couple wants a regressive house, a young family intends to build a castle — and why they want those things in Austin.
While the stories serve as a portrait of a charmed city struggling with growth, My Beautiful City Austin is also about a young person taking fraught first steps into a career and a place in the world. The stories are revealing and funny, arising in part from the narrator’s inability to alter absurd circumstances. Failing again and again to dissuade his clients from their bad decisions, he becomes complicit in the erasure of a storied place. Because the writing is life-like in its clarity, Heymann is able to balance humor with pressing questions about the degradation of the natural environment, present construction culture, the ethics of architects, and the desires of those who hire them.