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 L'Engle (1918-2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than 60 books, including the much-loved "A Wrinkle in Time". Born in 1918, L'Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L'Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, "The Small Rain", originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in "The Cherry Orchard". Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L'Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book "Meet the Austins", an American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 1960, was based on this experience. Her science fantasy classic "A Wrinkle in Time" was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, "A Wind in the Door" and "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book "A Ring of Endless Light" won the Newbery Honor. L'Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.