In every chapter of My Beautiful City Austin, a young architect designs an ideal Austin home. Each time, that perfect house never gets built, as the easily persuaded architect bows to the wishes of his misguided clients instead. “It is fiction,” laughs author David Heymann, a University of Texas at Austin professor and architect who has designed, among other impressive projects, George W. and Laura Bush’s Crawford home. “I wrote it in a way to make the questions just a bit more pressing,” he says of his debut novel. “The sense that it’s actually reporting rather than fiction was really crucial to me.” Here, the architect and amateur birder talks with TRIBEZA about our city’s growing pains, Austin’s non-existent golden age, and why his book is ultimately a love letter to Austin.