“We architects must be idealists. We construct not just individual buildings, but whole cities. We plan cities, and in doing so, change lives.”Plastic Emotions is a novel based on the true life story of Minnette de Silva – forgotten feminist icon and the first female Sri Lankan architect. In a gripping, elegant and lyrical story, Shiromi Pinto paints a complex picture of de Silva, charting her affair with infamous Swiss modernist Le Corbusier and her efforts to build a post-independence Sri Lanka that is heading towards political and religious turmoil. Moving between London, Chandigarh, Colombo, Paris and Kandy, at a time of communal violence in Sri Lanka, the rise of the civil war, and troubles with building a brand new city in north India, Plastic Emotions explores the life of a young, trailblazing south Asian woman at a time of great political turbulence across the globe.

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Berlin: long-celebrated as a city of artists and outcasts, but also a city of teachers and construction workers. A place of tourists and refugees, and the memories of those exiled and expelled. A city named after marshland; if you dig a hole, you’ll soon hit sand. The stories of Berlin are the stories BUILT ON SAND. A wooden town, laid waste by the Thirty Years War that became the metropolis by the Spree that spread out and swallowed villages whole. The city of Rosa Luxemburg and Joseph Roth, of student movements and punks on both sides of the Wall.

A place still bearing the scars of National Socialism and the divided city that emerged from the wreckage of war. … More