“How had this woman gotten so famous, anyway? She was even curating, no, ‘guest designing,’ the content of literary magazines. (Dopey sci-fi computer renderings that would have looked more at home on Wired subscription blow-ins.) Perhaps a paucity of female architects had dictated her arc…or the mere miracle that she’d managed, with grace and alacrity, to remove herself from King Koolhaas‘s shadow—a grand Chess Master’s trick, Joan had to admit…or her dramatic looks, the Baghdad-born thing, feminist warrior-ship masthead, unclassifiable geodesic goddess in a woman-killing theocracy, the sheer improbability of it, plus unkempt Fat Actress kohl-smeared gypsy-soprano factor that made her rock-star notable. Of course none of Joan’s acid observations interfered with the awareness she wanted to be Zaha; wanted books written on her own work, international forums centered around her own ideas, phantom or realized….But she (Joan) was still relatively young. That kind of momentum took time.”
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