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Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2009
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
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When Joy Davidman died of cancer in 1960, C. S. Lewis, her husband of only four years, wrote one of the great twentieth-century classics about loss and grief. Who was the American woman about whom Lewis says in A Grief Observed, "It is incredible how much happiness, even how much gaiety, we sometimes had together after all hope was gone"? Who was this woman whose love story with Lewis became the play, and later the major movie, Shadowlands?
Although best known as Lewis's wife, Joy Davidman was an accomplished writer in her own right, with several published works to her credit. Out of My Bone tells Davidman's life story in her own words through her numerous letters -- most never published before -- and her autobiographical essay "The Longest Way Round."
Gathered and expertly introduced by Don W. King, these letters reveal Davidman's persistent search for truth, her curious, incisive mind ("lithe and quick and muscular as a leopard," Lewis later said), and her arresting, sharply penetrating voice. They chronicle her journey from secular Judaism to atheism to Communism to Christianity and offer insightful glimpses into life -- both literary and everyday -- in the America and England of her time. Davidman also writes about the struggles of her earlier marriage to William Lindsay Gresham and of trying to reconcile her career goals with her life as mother of two sons. Most poignantly, perhaps, these letters expose Davidman's mental, emotional, and spiritual state as she confronted the cancer that eventually took her life at age 45.
Moving and riveting, Out of My Bone reveals anew the singular woman whom C. S. Lewis deeply loved and who deeply influenced his later writings.
These letters reveal Davidmans persistent search for truth, her curious, incisive mind, and her clear and unique voice. They chronicle her religious, philosophical, and intellectual journey from secular Judaism to atheism to Communism to Christianity. Davidman discusses not only her marriage to Lewis, but her struggles in her earlier marriage, trying to reconcile her career goals with family life. Perhaps most intriguingly, especially for those familiar with Davidman through Shadowlands, these letters allow readers a glimpse into her confrontation mental, emotional, and spiritual with the cancer that eventually took her life.
This captivating collection reveals with rare insight the woman who inspired Lewiss later writings, including Surprised by Joy and Till We Have Faces.
actress, costar of Shadowlands, and author of Undiscovered
"Oh, this book took me back! I remember marveling at how someone so fierce could be so endearing. This volume shows us how America has, for the most part, lost its rigor in offering the sort of criticism that Joy Davidman administered to urge friends/authors/poets to higher goals. Out of My Bone is a welcome reminder of this quality in a dedicated teacher/writer and authentic individual. This assortment of letters, lists, and essays tracing the journey of a Jew, a communist/atheist, and in the end a true Christian is sheer Joy. . . . An enthralling capture of the keen spirit, mind, and wit of Joy Davidman Gresham Lewis."
trustee and literary advisor to the C. S. Lewis estate
"Out of My Bone delivers a delicious shock to the system, and is a treat to anyone who likes to read. Don King has given us Joy Davidman's best book."
Marjorie Lamp Mead
The Marion E. Wade Center
"Letters at their best offer a unique perspective into the writer's life and thoughts, and this collection is no exception. Out of My Bone tells the compelling story of Joy Davidman, a brilliant and gifted woman who records with disarming frankness the disintegration of her first marriage and subsequent struggles as a single mother of two young boys, her courageous battle with cancer, and the great happiness she eventually found in her marriage to C. S. Lewis. These letters will captivate readers with their penetrating wit, lively humor, and most of all poignant insights into the realities of faith and suffering."
Bruce L. Edwards
Bowling Green State University
author of Not a Tame Lion and editor of C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy
"Don W. King's Out of My Bone is a magnificent editorial achievement, a major contribution to our understanding of the intellectual rigor and spiritual depth of Joy Davidman. Along the way, it provides provocative new insights into Joy's relationship with C. S. Lewis and why he would have fallen in love with her and regarded her as his literary equal. With this work Don King continues to establish himself as one of the premier Inklings scholars of our time, and now the reigning expert on the life and work of Joy Davidman."
Lyle W. Dorsett
Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
"Don W. King, a highly regarded authority on C. S. Lewis, has skillfully collected and edited nearly twenty-five years of Joy Davidman's correspondence, many of her poems, and an important autobiographical essay. The result is an original and significant contribution to our understanding of the exceptional poet, novelist, and critic who became the wife of C. S. Lewis. The Davidman letters reveal the genius of this woman who at once captured the heart of Lewis and infuriated many of his friends."
"One finds in these letters interesting comments on Lewis's dinosaur' lecture (Cambridge) and on the marriage of Davidman and Lewis . . . on the poetry of Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and American Marxists. Good bibliography."
Journal of Inklings Studies
"In this delightful and beautifully produced volume, Prof. King introduces, presents and unobtrusively annotates Davidman's collected letters, which span a period of twenty-four years, from 1936 to her death in 1960. . . . The portrait Davidman's letters paint is scintillating and many-layered, and displays the entire palette of a mind that Lewis justly described as lithe and quick and muscular as a leopard'. Don King's clear introduction and apparatus, and his pertinent, learned and unobtrusive annotations, make this a volume equally useful to the scholar and the general reader. It cannot be recommended warmly enough."