MBCA.jpg
P9030122A.jpg
Austin-pan-downtown-1_17_15-FINAL.jpg
sculpture-falls-pan-A.jpg
P1185096A.jpg
David-Heymann-edited-crop.jpg
MBCA.jpg

My Beautiful City Austin


SCROLL DOWN

My Beautiful City Austin


 

MY BEAUTIFUL CITY AUSTIN

In My Beautiful City Austin David Heymann crafts seven masterful tales of a young architect who fails again and again to dissuade his clients from their bad decisions. So the houses he designs aid and abet the ongoing erasure of Austin's ambrosial charm. These sharp, humorous stories explore consequences of Austin's rediscovered allure. Fueled by the dubious intentions of its inhabitants, this is a town growing madly while ignoring the pain of a thousand small cuts.

 
P9030122A.jpg

Blurbs


BLURBS

SCROLL DOWN

Blurbs


BLURBS

An opinionated, observant, and unexpected little book. The architectural eye that David Heymann trains on Austin and its landscape provides a sharp new view of a beloved city and its vulnerable soul.
— Stephen Harrigan, author, The Gates of the Alamo
David Heymann’s portrait of Austin yesterday and today is tender, funny, keen and merciless. My Beautiful City Austin is a marvelous book.
— Nancy Levinson, editor, PLACES
How infuriating to discover that David Heymann is not simply a wonderful architect but a marvelous writer. Although he claims this book is fiction, it is lambent with truth about building and its culture. I downed the delicious —and hilarious — thing at a sitting. So should you.
— Michael Sorkin, architect, author, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan
Austin-pan-downtown-1_17_15-FINAL.jpg

Press


PRESS

SCROLL DOWN

Press


PRESS

[A] bracing tonic for the ongoing flood of sentimental, snarky and just plain stupid writing about Texas’ capital ... This is an intensely engaging book, the record of a writer intensely engaged with his subject.
— Brad Tyer, Managing Editor
Heymann’s stories marry the keen eye of a natural historian with a writer’s gift for lyrical detail.
— Lynn Gosnell
[W]hile Heymann’s prose is loud, honest, and flat-out funny, his book is a grave reminder that Austin’s charming character and remarkable landscape are largely endangered by Austinites themselves.
— Jane Robbins Mize
[A]nyone who has ever attended a lecture by David Heymann understands his gift for storytelling ... In the tradition of all good storytellers, his stories evolve, each tale taller than the last.
— Nicolas Rivard
The author’s descriptions ... are beautifully done, as is his touching acceptance of a fledgling professional practice as it emerges from wounded ideals.
— Peter Wheelwright
As told by a young architect who tries (but not very hard and not very successfully) to advocate for better building decisions, it’s, in Heymann’s words, ‘a coming of age story about complicity.’
— Mike Lee
The University of Texas at Austin professor of architecture has channeled some of his energy into fiction. His first book, “My Beautiful City Austin,” published last month, is a bildungsroman about a young architect in Austin.
— Francesca Mari, New York Times
The book would make a great gift for anyone who is an architect, thinking of becoming one, considering hiring one, or recovering from having done so.
— Raj Mankad, Editor
[Heymann] comes off as a sort of Matthew McConaughey of Architecture & Letters, which isn’t to undercut his clear intelligence, but more to convey his laid-back swagger and the confidence with which he fires his darts.
— Aaron Seward, Executive Editor
The author can turn a phrase: ‘Facts, politics, money: the [Barton] Springs are gradually being strangled, as one landscape takes over another, like starlings, or hydrilla, or antibiotic-resistant strep.’
— Michelle Newby, Editor
The book ... uses an oversexed hippie tree-trimmer and some frat brothers to complete the picture of a town that wants to ‘stay weird.’
— Ted Flato
Heymann explores gentrification with a collection of seven stories, My Beautiful City Austin, revolving around an architect who, to his dismay, designs the type of houses often blamed for ruining the city’s charm.
— Michael Barrett, "Books About Austin"
[B]itingly funny ... it 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.
— Maggie Galehouse, Book Editor
[Heymann] recently published one of the best descriptions of Austin I have ever read ... the descriptions are laugh-out-loud funny.
— Lisa Gray
[An] account ... of the challenges of life as an architect, and in particular working with clients with grand visions that are not necessarily aligned with ... sensitivity to the urban and natural landscape.
— Mark Lamster, Architecture Critic
Using fiction, Heymann paints a sharply dynamic picture of the architectural consequences of Austin’s rapid growth
— Sadia Quddus
You will read it with a smile on your face, shaking your head in equal parts befuddlement and identification.
— David Plick
[The] descriptive passages ... hold their own against the best of John McPhee...
— John Cline, "Austin's Psychic Heart"
In every chapter ... a young architect designs an ideal Austin Home. Each time that perfect house never gets built...”
— Sofia Sokolove, Assistant Editor
sculpture-falls-pan-A.jpg

Excerpts


EXCERPTS

SCROLL DOWN

Excerpts


EXCERPTS

Click to view selected excerpts from My Beautiful City Austin

Chapter 2

from Texas Architect

Chapter 4

from Places Journal

David-Heymann-edited-crop.jpg

Order


David Heymann, an award-winning architect, writer, and professor at the University of Texas, is interested in what people want from nature. My Beautiful City Austin is his first work of fiction.

Click Here to Order

SCROLL DOWN

Order


David Heymann, an award-winning architect, writer, and professor at the University of Texas, is interested in what people want from nature. My Beautiful City Austin is his first work of fiction.

Click Here to Order