All Day I’ve Built a Lifetime

Chatto & Windus, 2022

In All Day I’ve Built a Lifetime, Charlotte van den Broeck gathers thirteen tales about tragic architects – tragic because these well-known or forgotten master-builders committed suicide in or on account of a building designed by them. Their intervention in the public arena culminated in a fiasco or else they viewed it as such. Over the past few years, Charlotte Van den Broeck travelled extensively to find out more about these architects and their fate.

Her texts combine description with analysis and take the reader on a journey into the final buildings by these tragic heroes. Van den Broeck examines whether there is a link between personal and public failure, between the importance of the public arena and the damaged reputation of the (usually male) architects. And of course the author also makes the connection between constructing buildings and writing texts, because all creation is a bold venture.

Translations:
English: All Day I’ve Built a Lifetime, transl. by David McKay, Chatto & Windus, Jan 2022
Danish: Waagstukken, transl. by Miriam Boolsen, Jensen og Dalgaard, Oct 2021
German: Wagnisse, transl. by Christiane Burkhardt, Rowohlt, Apr 2021

Awards:
Dr. Wijnaendts Francken Prize 2021
Confituur Bookstores’ Prize 2020

Nominations:
Jan Hanlo Essay Prize 2021
Boekenbon Literature Prize 2020

Excerpt:
Chapter IV (POL)

“An exceptionally fine style”

– VPRO Boeken

“Van den Broeck has a very keen eye. But she also has a great mind.”

– De Standaard