Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ten top modernizers in literature

John Grindrod is the author of Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain.

At the Guardian he tagged ten books--half are novels, half biographies--that "give a flavour of what the modern movement in architecture and planning was up to, particularly in postwar Britain." One entry on the list:
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (2009)

The elegant glass room of the novel’s title is heavily based on Mies van der Rohe’s 1920s Villa Tugendhat in Brno. Mies’s fictional counterpart is Rainer von Abt, and the house he designs remains the central conceit of the book, from where we move from bourgeois high living to Nazi invasion and beyond. Mawer fuses big history with domestic drama in a Booker-shortlisted novel that sometimes lacks the lightness of the building.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue