A Grief Observed   -     By: C.S. Lewis
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A Grief Observed

HarperSanFrancisco / 1989 / Hardcover

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Product Description

''No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.'' This intensely personal journal, written by Lewis after the death of his wife, probes the ''mad midnight moments'' of his mourning; moments when he questioned his beliefs in life and death, marriage, and even God. With brief, poignant insights, Lewis puts into words the feelings and struggles we all go through when we've lost a loved one. This thoughtful gift edition includes a foreword by Madeleine L'Engle. 89 pages, hardcover from HarperCollins.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Vendor: HarperSanFrancisco
Publication Date: 1989
Dimensions: 5 1/4 X 7 1/2 (inches)
ISBN: 006065273X
ISBN-13: 9780060652739
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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."

Author Bio

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over one hundred million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más 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 desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

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  1. Rodger Ragan
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 31, 2009
    Rodger Ragan
    This book is right where I am. I felt and still feel the same thoughts and feelings as CS did in his experience with Joy. Great book and "a must read" for those dealing with Grief.
  2. Cheryl Stotesbery
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 8, 2001
    Cheryl Stotesbery
    Good things do indeed come in small packages. Lewis' work on grief so clearly expresses what I felt when my own spouse died. His elegant yet sparse writing captures the essence of grief and the doubts and questions that haunt the mourner. I refer back to this book often in moments of overwhelming grief. My own copy is worn from continual use. The work is so masterful that I keep several copies on hand to give as gifts to those who have experienced a recent death of a loved one. Lewis seems to hold back nothing as he sweeps us along on his own private journey through tragic loss and faith reborn. Far from sugar-coated or trite, Lewis lets us into his own pain and own search for comfort. He boldly addresses the big questions like, "How could God do this?" The book is not depressing, it's affirming in that we see that our own grief is not so different from the grief of others, even at a point in life when we feel so disconnected and like no one understands what it's REALLY like to lose a spouse. Lewis understood what it was really like and he unabashedly tells us. If you or someone you love has lost a loved one, particularly a much-loved spouse, get this book.
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