A Grief Observed

A Grief Observed


Written with love, humility, and faith, this brief but poignant volume was first published in 1961 following the death of C. S. Lewis's wife, the American-born poet Joy Davidman.

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."

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. 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."

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was born in Belfast. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, and was later Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, where he remained until his death. Lewis's most distinguished and popular accomplishments include The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity.

"A very personal, anguished, luminous little book about the meaning of death, marriage, and religion." -Publishers Weekly

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