cover image Secrets of the Universe: Scenes from the Journey Home

Secrets of the Universe: Scenes from the Journey Home

Scott Russell Sanders. Beacon Press (MA), $19.95 (255pp) ISBN 978-0-8070-6330-9

Examining first the ``fierce, tangled relations'' within families, Sanders ( The Paradise of Bombs ) here extends his personal horizons from recollections of his own Midwestern childhood to encompass neighborhood, region and nature itself, all bound, he concludes, by the same mysterious forces. His poignant account of the pain and guilt inflicted on the family by his father's drunkenness inspires Sanders's perceptive observations on exchanges between parents and children, including his own, as one generation gives way to another. Episodes in the author's life give rise to far-ranging digressions, on fashions in lawn ornaments to the allure of women's bodies, and from a visit to the U.S.S.R. to a discussion of nature as portrayed in essays and fiction. An engaging sampling of intellect enlivened by imagination. (Nov.)