Written with love, humility, and faith, this brief but poignant volume was first published in 1961 and concerns the death of C. S. Lewis's wife, the American-born poet Joy Davidman. In her introduction to this new edition, Madeleine L'Engle writes: "I am grateful to Lewis for having the courage to yell, to doubt, to kick at God in angry violence. This is a part of a healthy grief which is not often encouraged. It is helpful indeed that C. S. Lewis, who has been such a successful apologist for Christianity, should have the courage to admit doubt about what he has so superbly proclaimed. It gives us permission to admit our own doubts, our own angers and anguishes, and to know that they are part of the soul's growth."
Written in longhand in notebooks that Lewis found in his home, A Grief Observed probes the "mad midnight moments" of Lewis's mourning and loss, moments in which he questioned what he had previously believed about life and death, marriage, and even God. Indecision and self-pity assailed Lewis. "We are under the harrow and can't escape," he writes. "I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace." Writing A Grief Observed as "a defense against total collapse, a safety valve," he came to recognize that "bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love."
Lewis writes his statement of faith with precision, humor, and grace. Yet neither is Lewis reluctant to confess his continuing doubts and his awareness of his own human frailty. This is precisely the quality which suggests that A Grief Observed may become "among the great devotional books of our age."
About the Author
Clive Staples Lewis was born in 1898. Known as "Jack" by his friends, Lewis and his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, were part of a writer's club, The Inklings, who would meet at the local pub to discuss story ideas. Lewis's fascination with fairytales, myths, and ancient legends coupled with inspiration drawn from his childhood led him to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the best-loved books of all time. Six further books in the immensely popular Chronicles of Narnia followed, and the final title, The Last Battle, received the Carnegie Award, one of the highest marks of excellence in children's literature.
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales mas importantes del siglo veinte y podria decirse que fue el escritor cristiano mas influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeno hasta que se jubilo. Sus contribuciones a la critica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantastica y teologia popular le trajeron fama y aclamacion a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribio mas de treinta libros, lo cual le permitio alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aun atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada ano. Sus mas distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Cronicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.
Madeleine was born on November 29th, 1918, and spent her formative years in New York City. Instead of her school work, she found that she would much rather be writing stories, poems and journals for herself, which was reflected in her grades (not the best). However, she was not discouraged.
At age 12, she moved to the French Alps with her parents and went to an English boarding school where, thankfully, her passion for writing continued to grow. She flourished during her high school years back in the United States at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, vacationing with her mother in a rambling old beach cottage on a beautiful stretch of Florida Beach
She went to Smith College and studied English with some wonderful teachers as she read the classics and continued her own creative writing. She graduated with honors and moved into a Greenwich Village apartment in New York. She worked in the theater, where Equity union pay and a flexible schedule afforded her the time to write! She published her first two novels during these yearsA Small Rain and Ilsabefore meeting Hugh Franklin, her futurehusband, when she was an understudy in Anton Chekovs The Cherry Orchard. They married during The Joyous Season.
She had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to Connecticut to raise the family away from the city in a small dairy farm village with more cows than people. They bought a dead general store, and brought it to life for 9 years. They moved back to the city with three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career.
As the years passed and the children grew, Madeleine continued to write and Hugh to act, and they to enjoy each other and life. Madeleine began her association with the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where she was the librarian and maintained an office for more than thirty years. After Hugh's death in 1986, it was her writing and lecturing that kept her going. She lived through the 20th century and into the 21st and wrote over 60 books. She enjoyed being with her friends, her children, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren.