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Dan Wakefield. Doubleday Books, $17.95 (250pp) ISBN 978-0-385-23722-2

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)