February 19, 1954 |
|Occupation||writer, architect, historian|
|Genre||history, historical fiction|
He is the son of Charles W. Belfoure and Polish immigrant, teacher and writer Kristine Vetulani. He grew up in Woodlawn, the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland and attended to Woodlawn High School. Belfoure graduated from the Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1983 and from the Columbia University with a Master of Science in Real Estate Development in 1993. He taught at Pratt and at the Goucher College in Baltimore and has been a freelance writer for The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun. He is a specialist in historic preservation. He published several architectural histories and was a recipient of a Graham Foundation national grant for architectural research. He lives in Westminster, Maryland.
His son Christopher graduated in history from West Virginia University in 2010. He died in 2011 due to a fatal ATV accident. A memorial scholarship - The Christopher Belfoure Chinese Studies Travel Abroad Fund - was established to honor his memory. Charles' second child is daughter Julie.
The Paris Architect, Belfoure's first novel, was published by Sourcebooks Landmark on October 8, 2013 in the U.S. It follows the story of a French architect Lucien Bernard who's paid to create temporary hiding places for Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris. The book received generally positive reviews. Malcolm Gladwell of The Guardian chose The Paris Architect his favourite book of 2013, calling it ,,a beautiful and elegant account of an ordinary man's unexpected and reluctant descent into heroism during the second world war". Belfoure's debut in fiction was found among finalists of the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award and has hit The New York Times best seller list in an e-book category in July 2015.StudioCanal and The Picture Company acquired the rights to film The Paris Architect. Chris Salmanpour was hired to adapt the script.
Belfoure's second novel House of Thieves was published on September 15, 2015. Set in 1886 New York, it's a story of an architect forced to join a criminal gang and plan robberies of the buildings he's designed to pay off his son's debts.Publishers Weekly praised the work, pointing that ,,Belfoure holds together each and every thread of the novel, resulting in a most memorable, evocative read". Jocelyn McClurg of USA Today gave the book 3 out of 4 stars saying that ,,channeling Dickens, Belfoure designs a rollicking story but overloads on improbabilities. No matter - it's a blueprint for great fun".House of Thieves is to be adapted for television by the Mark Gordon Company. Francis Lawrence is said to direct the series.
Belfoure uses his architectural background to construct the plot in his novels. He never took any creative writing lessons. He said that he ,,hesitated writing fiction" but discovered that John Grisham who also never practiced writing has been using his legal background for his fiction works. Belfoure decided to use his own knowledge in the field of architecture in a similar way. Among titles that influenced him most he points Robert Moses' The Power Broker, William Golding's Lord of the Flies and works by Thomas Hardy, including Jude the Obscure and The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Currently Belfoure is working on his third novel. Set in 1905, it will tell the story of an architect in the world of the British musical.