A Private History of AweBook - 2006
An original and searching memoir from "one of America's finest essayists" (Phillip Lopate) When Scott Russell Sanders was four, his father held him in his arms during a thunderstorm, and he felt awe--"the tingle of a power that surges through bone and rain and everything." He writes, "The search for communion with this power has run like a bright thread through all my days." A Private History of Awe is an account of his search, told as a series of dramatic, spiritually charged episodes: his early memory of watching a fire with his father; his attraction to the solemn cadences of the Bible despite his frustration with Sunday-school religion; his discovery of books and the body; his mounting opposition to the Vietnam War and all forms of violence; his decision, after the heady experience of education at Brown and Cambridge, to return to the Midwest and raise a family in the place of his roots. In many ways, this is the story of a generation's passage through the 1960s--from innocence to experience, from euphoria to disillusionment. But Sanders has found a language that captures the transcendence in ordinary lives while never resorting to formula. And by framing his recollections with present-day accounts of tending to his ailing mother and his newborn granddaughter, he weaves his story into the larger history of his family, illuminating the cycles of life that bind together generations. In his hands, the pattern of American coming of age made classic by writers from Mark Twain to Tobias Wolff is given a powerful new charge.
Publisher: New York : North Point Press, 2006.
Characteristics: 322 p. ;,24 cm.