Cyclettes is an original, insightful artifact of modern life.
What does it mean to be happy, to be sated, to live a meaningful life? Is wanderlust curable? Is depression? Echoing the sensation of riding a bicycle, Cyclettes is a multidisciplinary contemplation on the borderlands of adulthood.
Part travelogue, part philosophical musing, Tree Abraham’s work probes the millennial experience, asking what a young life can be when unshackled from traditional role expectations yet still living in consistent economic and environmental uncertainty.
Text is interspersed between drawings, scientific charts, ephemera, maps, arcane designs, and diagrams of cycles—of vehicles and of life, from the Buddhist Eightfold path to patterns of depression, desire, and motion. The result is a disarming, welcoming work that asks us to consider what the interflux of exploration and ennui mean to our locality within the universe.
Praise for Cyclettes:
“I love books like Cyclettes, where text and image—drawings, charts, maps, collages, photographs, and all sorts of other visual artifacts—intermingle equally, each in service of and scaffolding the other. Then add in some great thinking about the bicycle, a technology through which the self is freed or found, and you have in front of you a book that’s going to make you want to make books of your own, and probably also go for a ride, then make more books.” —Ander Monson, author of Vanishing Point, and Letter to a Future Lover
“Cyclettes is a beautifully curated collection of prose and visuals. Abraham finds a way to blend tender childhood nostalgia with insightful, even hard-to-swallow, observations, highlighted against the backdrop of her cycling adventures and trials. Spliced between coming-of-age anecdotes and musings, are bits of educational history around bikes that make this book a truly unique read.” —Hana Shafi, author of Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty
Most Anticipated: Our 2022 Fall Nonfiction Preview —49th Shelf
2022 Fall Preview: Nonfiction —Quill & Quire
Top 10: Memoir Picks —All Lit Up
60 works of Canadian nonfiction to watch for in fall 2022 —CBC Books
Tree Abraham on Designing the Cover of Her Own Book —Vyki Hendy, Spine Magazine
Shrapnel’s Fall Favourites of 2022 —Shrapnel Magazine
Book Therapy: Cyclettes —Stacey May Fowles, Open Book
“Equal parts whimsical and philosophical, Cyclettes extends beyond conventional narrative with illustrations, collages, photographs and other design elements.” —S. Kirk Walsh, The New York Times
“Blending threads of research and experience, journey and discovery, Abraham feels out the possibilities of adulthood, seeking knowledge, truths and other elements across a wide spectrum, riding on and along two wheels.” —rob mclennan
8 Books that Capture a Life in Motion —Tree Abraham, Electric Literature
Form: A Vehicle for the Story —Tree Abraham, 49th Shelf
The best Canadian nonfiction of 2022 —CBC Books
“A small wonder of a book, a brightly polished gem.” —Robert J. Wiersema, The Toronto Star
A Book About Bikes That’s Not Really About Bikes —Michael Calore, WIRED\
Beautiful Books: Cyclettes —All Lit Up
Tree Abraham is a queer Ottawa-born, Brooklyn-based writer, book designer, and maker of things whose design articles have been published in The Author Journal, Literary Hub, Electric Literature, Spine Magazine, and All Lit Up. She has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Development and Environmental Sustainability and a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Illustration. She is a cover designer for publishers across North America, serves as publisher and art director for Canthius, a feminist literary journal, and is an associate art director in-house at Grand Central Publishing. Her authorship experiments with fragmented essays and mixed media visuals. When not working, she can be found travelling to unmarked places, collecting people, and cycling to swimming spots.