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The latest from Parker is an inventive novella hybrid, a mix of prose and poetry, past and present, heartbreak and humor. At the core is Liliane Kaufmann, the wife and first cousin of the philandering Edgar Kaufmann, who commissioned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to create the audacious Fallingwater, a Pennsylvania house built over a waterfall. Rippling out from the couple is a cast of characters spanning centuries. Without introduction or background, a different voice narrates each chapter as the iconic home itself becomes a central character. Interspersing fiction with fact (although fact outweighs fiction in this well-researched story), Parker reveals the tragic life of strong, intelligent Liliane, who is slowly eroded by a complicated marriage gone toxic. Adding dimension to her portrayal are three other women, all at different points of self-discovery, all potentially bound for a similar fate as Liliane. Not unlike Fallingwater’s structure, which masterfully balances the man-made with the natural, Parker sculpts and controls myriad, nearly unwieldy elements to construct a driven plot that illuminates the perched house and those who live within it.
Monologue topics: mail, my long creative struggle, creativity identity, showing your work.