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Macaulay Returns to Sacred Space with 'Mosque'

Detail from an illustration from Macaulay's book <i>Mosque</i> showing one of the central design features of mosques: using a round dome to cover a square-shaped space.
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Detail from an illustration from Macaulay's book Mosque showing one of the central design features of mosques: using a round dome to cover a square-shaped space.
David Macaulay and NPR's Liane Hansen at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C.
Neal Carruth, NPR News /
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David Macaulay and NPR's Liane Hansen at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C.

David Macaulay explains architecture to readers young and old. As the author and illustrator of such books as Castle and City, he uses lively pen and ink drawings to depict the evolution of large-scale public building projects.

Thirty years after the publication of his book Cathedral, Macaulay returns to the construction of sacred spaces with his new book Mosque. On a recent afternoon, NPR's Liane Hansen joined Macaulay for a conversation at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C.

Macaulay says the sacred buildings themselves inspired the writing of Mosque, but he he was motivated by the attacks of Sept. 11 to remind the world that the major religious traditions have more in common than they have separating them.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.