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The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom on How to Live, Love and See [Paperback]

Naomi Wolf
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2007

Highly acclaimed author and feminist thinker Naomi Wolf was brought up to believe that personal happiness is something that can be taught - and learned. In this magical book, Naomi shares the enduring wisdom of her father, Leonard Wolf, a well-regarded poet and a teacher for sixty years who believes happiness can be achieved by honouring your inner artist.

THE TREEHOUSE begins when Naomi asks her father to help build a treehouse for his granddaughter. Inspired by his dedication to her daughter's imaginative world, she asks her father to walk her through the lessons of his popular poetry class, and show her how he teaches people to see the world with a renewed sense of wonder. Each lesson

became a chapter: 'Be Still and Listen,' 'Use Your Imagination', 'Do

Nothing Without Passion', 'Your Mistakes are Part of the Draft'.

Here is meditation on fathers and daughters, an argument for honouring the creative impulse, and unique instruction in the art of personal happiness.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (1 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844082458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844082452
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A thoughtful insight into the relationship between fathers and daughters, and on the belief that happiness is something that can be taught' Sunday Express 'Engaging and memorable. An eccentric idealist and poet, Leonard ? and his ideas ? are highly begu

Book Description

Now in paperback from the internationally bestselling author Naomi Wolf - a stirring portrait of her father and his unconventional wisdom on how to live, love, and see the world with wonder.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Naomi Wolf is well known for her feminist writing, but this book charts her personal shift towards a deeper understanding of the importance of family, of the willingness to keep learning and of listening to your inner artist.

The structure of the book is based on the lessons her father, Leonard Wolf, delivered to his poetry students over many decades. Each lesson forms one chapter of the book: `Be Still and Listen', `Speak in Your Own Voice', `Do Nothing Without Passion'... She explores and describes her father's eccentric view of the world and the life he has lived, whilst charting her own learning and experiences as she does so.

This is a book written on a number of different levels, with a lovely lightness of touch, gentle humour, thoughtfulness and a sense of creative passion.

My absolute favourite quote from it is this one: "My dad believes that the making of a beautiful thing cracks open the painful or ugly ordinary world, and then something amazing shines through, which you have forever; which can make you blind with tears."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a unique man 17 Mar 2008
Naomi Wolf presents to us the lessons her father, poet Leonard Wolf, gave his students throughout his teaching career. The portrait she presents is that of a character that just about everyone would wish to have known or to have had in their lives. The wisdom and light in his words provide windows on an enchanted world, the world as filtered through his unique spirit.

The writer presents his "12 lessons", which are lessons of life more than of writing, while simultaneously telling the story of how he helped her build a treehouse for her daughter in the years before he passed away. How his lessons could be applied is demonstrated through past and present situations from his life, that of the author, and various people in their lives.

She writes of where Leonard comes from, his background in Romania and his Jewish family, the story of their immigration to the United States, the strife and hardship of his childhood, and how "his mother used her imagination to survive poverty" and how he, too, followed her example, whereby "reading saved him", and "stories and poetry made reality bearable" and how all that contributed to his belief that "everyone is here on earth as an artist".

Leonard believed in the magical power of art. To him, racism, fascism, etc were all "failures of the imagination". He believed that artists were more important than politicians. He believed that a person should disregard their work's "marketability" and follow their passion, as the joy of the work itself is the biggest reward. He believed that "being true to the inner light is absolute".

A commendable effort on the part of Naomi Wolf to transmit his lessons to us before he was no longer there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful lessons of life 28 April 2014
By Laura82
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My best friend suggested this book and I really loved it! I loved how the author was raised believing in her dreams and also following them.
She explains that her dad is not perfect at all, but his lessons are really valuable.
I will definitely read more of Naomi Wolf. She is a really clever and passionate woman. I loved how her upbringing is not traditional at all and she definitely succeeded in life!
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