Returning: A Spiritual Journey

Overview

Dan Wakefield was a successful writer of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays when he awoke to a private life that was disintegrating in alcohol, depression, and isolation. He fled Hollywood for Boston where he reclaimed a faith he had thought he was too sophisticated to embrace. In this moving memoir, Wakefield returns to his religious roots and his early life: his Indiana boyhood, his tumultuous student days, and his growth as a writer.

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Overview

Dan Wakefield was a successful writer of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays when he awoke to a private life that was disintegrating in alcohol, depression, and isolation. He fled Hollywood for Boston where he reclaimed a faith he had thought he was too sophisticated to embrace. In this moving memoir, Wakefield returns to his religious roots and his early life: his Indiana boyhood, his tumultuous student days, and his growth as a writer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
One of the most important memoirs of the spirit that I've ever read. —Bill Moyers

"A grippingly honest account of how one man succeeded in filling the emptiness at the core of his soul." —Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"A therapeutic act of reinterpreting the past in a spirit of forgiveness and gratitude."—David Toolan, The New York Times Book Review

"A moving, powerful account; I loved reading it and often recommend it to my students."—Elaine Pagels, professor of religion at Princeton University; author of The Gnostic Gospels and The Origin of Satan

"Returning is the book in which Wakefield speaks most directly about the physical and mental desperation that sent him back to his faith. And it turns out to be not only the best of his books about his spiritual journey but the best book he has written. A vivid memorable description . . . it traces the forces that formed him as a writer and intellectual."—Leonard Kriegel, The Nation

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wakefield Going All the Way et al. sweeps us up into his life story, which begins here at a fearful moment. At age 48, he awoke screaming in panic and fled from Hollywood to Boston in search of treatment for stress and later for a deeper malady, spiritual emptiness. He recalls growing up an indulged only son in Indiana, studying at Columbia University during the 1950s, becoming a New Yorker and rejecting his Protestant faith. He writes about his professors, classmates and others met on the road to his successful career as a writer. Eloquently, he recreates his initial steps in regaining his religious faith. Wakefield expresses gratitude to those with whom he attended a course at a parish house in Boston, instruction that forms the foundation of this compelling testament. March
Library Journal
Memories of abandoned childhood faith and the gracious aid of mentors Mark Van Doren, Robert Coles illumine this account of writer Wakefield's spiritual pilgrimage from his boyhood in Indiana through teen-age agonies over acne and sex, immersion in atheistic Columbia University in the early 1950s, protracted analysis, and a depressing mix of alcohol and failed relationships even as his writing career flourished. Triggered by mid-life conversion and nurturance in Boston's King's Chapel, this narrative reflects obliquely on the ways God was really there all along, despite Wakefield's frantic resistance. A moving bookhonest, evocative, and insightful. EC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807027110
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 827,191
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield is the author of numerous books, including Creating from the Spirit, Expect a Miracle, The Story of Your Life, and Going All the Way.

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