My Beautiful City Austin
Wednesday, May 06
The allure and explosive growth of Central Texas are at the center of the pointed and funny stories in My Beautiful City Austin, David Heymann's first book of fiction. The narrator, a young architect starting his own practice, struggles to understand why his clients want what they want — 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 here.
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 both revealing and funny, arising in part from the narrator’s inability to alter absurd circumstances. Maggie Galehouse, book editor of the Houston Chronicle, writes that My Beautiful City Austin "…reads like a diary and feels like a conversation you'd have over drinks with your wittiest, bitchiest architecture friend who knows Texas — and Texans — well.”
David Heymann is an architect, contributing writer for Places Journal, and a University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor. He is interested in what people want from nature. Heymann has been a writer in residence at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston's Dora Maar House, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, and the Bogliasco Foundation Liguria Study Center; a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome; and a participant in The Arctic Circle program. His architectural work has been variously published and recognized with design honors, including selection for Emerging Voices by the Architectural League of New York.