A Key to Treehouse Living (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

If you’ve ever doubted the synchronicity of life and how one moment or action can define the next in the most wonderful and unexpected ways, A Key to Treehouse Living will set you right. The structure of the novel, told in glossary form, is refreshing and illuminating and necessary in these troubled times, one that you’ll find yourself coming back to if only to feel grounded and human again. 

— From Javier's Picks

Brilliant in form and content, this is a coming of age story that uses the format of an alphabetical index to illustrate the way that our adolescent and young adult minds try to make sense of the world: we categorize and define, put feelings and inanimate objects on equal footing, and do our best to make sense of the chaos around us the way that text books and encyclopedias have taught. References from one entry to another mimic the links between our memories that seem to make our lives a continuum, rather than a series of isolated incidents. Life doesn't occur in alphabetical order, but there's no reason your story can't be told that way. This is a book that trusts you to connect the dots yourself, because really that's half the fun, isn't it? 

— From Christian's Picks


A Key to Treehouse Living is the adventure of William Tyce, a boy without parents, who grows up near a river in the rural Midwest. In a glossary-style list, he imparts his particular wisdom on subjects ranging from ASPHALT PATHS, BETTA FISH, and MULLET to MORTAL BETRAYAL, NIHILISM, and REVELATION. His improbable quest--to create a reference volume specific to his existence--takes him on a journey down the river by raft (see MYSTICAL VISION, see NAVIGATING BIG RIVERS BY NIGHT). He seeks to discover how his mother died (see ABSENCE) and find reasons for his father's disappearance (see UNCERTAINTY, see VANITY). But as he goes about defining his changing world, all kinds of extraordinary and wonderful things happen to him.

Unlocking an earnest, clear-eyed way of thinking that might change your own, A Key to Treehouse Living is a story about keeping your own record straight and living life by a different code.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781947793040
ISBN-10: 1947793047
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Pages: 170
Language: English