Claire Dederer
April 25, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

From her 1991 best-seller The Beauty Myth to 2001’s Misconceptions, Naomi Wolf has long wagged her finger at Them for trying to keep Us down. Now she embarks on a very different project: a portrait of her father, Leonard Wolf, in The Treehouse. A teacher, poet, wearer of out-landish costumes, and all-around bohemian, the charismatic Leonard believes art is the answer to, well, everything. ”When people spend time around my dad,” she writes, ”they are always quitting their sensible jobs with good benefits to become schoolteachers, or agitators, or lutenists.” Over the course of six months, Wolf and her father build a treehouse for her daughter, Rosa. As they hammer away, Leonard teaches Wolf every-thing he knows about writing and life. Turns out the old man knows quite a bit, and Wolf’s prose surprises with humor, intimacy, and, of all things, tenderness.

You May Like